Looking for a new role, but not sure your current CV is up to the job?
If you’re starting from scratch, sitting down to write a winning CV will seem like a significant and time-consuming task.
Even if you’re well aware of the basics or have previous experience of writing CVs, you may be overlooking a simple but costly mistake as a result of habitually using the same old document.
At reed.co.uk we believe that a CV should be more than a collection of your previous positions. Approached with the right amount of enthusiasm, research and professionalism, (not to mention time spent viewing some helpful CV examples), a well-written CV can be the gateway to a whole new career. And that makes it more than worthwhile spending a little time on.
To help you increase your chances of success, we’ve put together our basic CV template:
Just here for the template? Click the link below:
Start with a personal statement tailored to the role in question.
In terms of structure, consciously try and answer the following questions: Who are you? What do you have to offer? What are you aiming for in your career?
Also, try to avoid clichés where possible and quantify your attributes by giving specific examples from previous positions. Not only do they add value and a sense of realism to your statement, they also enhance your credibility.
For most roles, successfully demonstrating your experience and achievements in previous positions is essential. Once again, write in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent jobs coming at the top.
Rather than concentrating on daily duties, try and emphasise your accomplishments, wherever possible, or any other skills you picked up which may help you in the position you’re applying for.
If you have no employment history to speak of, you may wish to leave this section out. Alternatively, use this gap as your opportunity to be pro-active. Try volunteering with a local charity for a few weeks or at a locally-run business. They will be grateful for the help and you will have something extra to add to your CV.
Education should be included from GCSE (or equivalent) level on. Write in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent events coming at the top.
State the number qualifications achieved and general grades you received (Maths and English at the very least). If you’re awaiting results, you may state mock/expected results where possible, although this is not essential.
Include your degree classification, A level/IB (or equivalent) results and any other higher education diplomas if you have them. Use particular course modules you’ve undertaken to demonstrate your wider knowledge of the subject which may be relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Hobbies & Interests
A Hobbies and Interests section is optional. However, if you lack any notable work experience, this section can be a great way of getting your personality across.
Just be wary of anything too generic, such as ‘socialising with friends’. If they’re particularly individual or actually back up your motives for applying for the role, then your hobbies and interests should be included.
Ask yourself: Will they help you get the job? Finally, make sure you’re happy to expand upon your interests during your interview if called upon.
Unless asked directly in the job posting, making references available on request is fine.
However, always make sure you do have credible references. Close family friends, teachers, or career councillors are all good options, and most are usually happy to help.
Need to start again? Create a professional, fully formatted CV in minutes using the free reed.co.uk CV Builder.