Writing your CV from scratch is never easy…
Not only do you have to make sure that you get all your skills and experience covered, you also need it to look professional and presentable – not to mention make sure you pick the most effective format for you.
To help you consider all the available options, here are some CV examples that might inspire you:
The most commonly used CV is the traditional (or basic) type.
Usually, these include a personal statement, your education history and qualifications, and a list of relevant previous positions (written in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent coming first).
As with any CV, what you write should also be clear, concise, and easy to read. You may also want to remove any previous positions which won’t help sell yourself to the role. Any more than two pages, and the employer might start to lose interest.
Remember: when it comes to your CV, size really does matter…
For recent graduates, the most effective way to structure your CV may differ slightly from the norm.
This is because you will generally have little previous experience to work with, meaning the focus should be placed squarely on your studies.
And it isn’t just about stating your degree classification and A level results. Going into greater detail about the modules you’ve undertaken will help demonstrate your wider knowledge of the subject – which can really help if you’re applying to a role related to your degree.
You should also use your course to back up your personal statement and cover letter. After all, you spent three years of your life studying. At the very least you should be able to put some of it to good use.
Career break CV
Trying to address a lengthy career break?
There are many reasons you might end up with a gap in your CV, but the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Having the confidence to properly address your time out will speak volumes for your character – not to mention ensure you keep all interview awkwardness to a minimum if it is brought up.
You don’t need to go into details, but just a short line or two in your CV (or the accompanying cover letter) will be more than enough to cover it. And never be tempted to lie.
You. Will. Always. Be. Found. Out.
Career change CV
If you’re looking to try something different, don’t be tempted to send the same old CV.
Although you should always tailor your application to every job you apply for, this takes on even greater importance for anyone going for a career change.
Instead of concentrating on your work history, restructure your CV to place precedence on your transferable skills. Not only will it allow you to take focus away from your lack of past experience, it will also help demonstrate your abilities and alleviate any worries your prospective employer may have.
And always remember to back up your skills with real-life examples. Because just saying you’re a ‘good team player’ probably isn’t enough to land you the role…
Skills-based CVs are great for those who may just be starting out in their career.
As with career change CVs, you focus on your skills – but instead of majoring on the transferable ones in particular, the most effective skills-based CVs actually restructure their application around their attributes.
This could be as simple as including a section devoted to skills, just under your personal statement. If you’re struggling for what to include, checking the job description is a good place to start.
Finally, some industries might be looking for something a little more ‘outside the box’ in their applications.
Graphic Designers, for example, often include portfolios with their applications, and make their CVs slightly more colourful and engaging to help practically show off their skills.
Similarly, Marketing and PR recruiters may be impressed if you send something eye-catching – which could demonstrate your creativity and ability to come up with interesting ideas. However, not all employers will be looking for this type of application – so make sure you’re 100% sure your idea will impress before you start writing.
And if all else fails? Super Mario always wins…
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