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How to structure and write a CV

Writing a CV can be a stressful and time-consuming task, especially if you are starting from scratch.

To help with this, we have put together some key bits of information to help you structure and write your CV.

Formatting

When it comes to CVs, no one size fits all. However, it should be clear and concise enough that when a recruiter or hiring manager scans your CV, they are able to get a good understanding of your skills and experience.

  • Use a professional and clear font and keep the size no smaller than size 10
  • Present things in a logical order
  • Use a mixture of prose and bullet points
  • Unless you are applying for a role within the creative industry, steer away from using too many photographs and bits of imagery

It’s also important to tailor your CV to each role you apply for. Read the job description carefully, highlighting the relevant keywords and skills that match your experience. Use this to describe where you have used these skills or experiences throughout your CV.

The Structure

As mentioned above, no one size fits all when it comes to CVs, but make sure you include these sections in a way that looks the most relevant for you and the role you’re applying for.

We’d recommend the below structure:

  • Personal details
  • Personal statement
  • Education & Key skills
  • Work experience & Key achievements (listed within each section of your work experience)
  • Hobbies and interests

Personal details

It may sound obvious, but you would be surprised how many people forget to include any contact information in their CV and miss out on opportunities because of this.

To avoid this, at a minimum, present the following information clearly at the top of your CV:

  • First name or both your first and last name
  • Either your email address or phone number (ideally both)
  • The location you’re currently based or the locations you’re open to working within

Personal statement

The personal statement is the opening hook to your CV. It’s a chance for you to ‘sell’ your skills and experience, what makes you different, and the best fit for a role over other candidates.

It should be short, highlighting who you are and what skills you have that fit the role.

Education & Key Skills

Education

The education and key skills section flows nicely from your personal statement.

It should not be an extremely long list. Instead, it should be a short snippet of any qualifications you have or are working toward and the date you received the qualification (Awarded a 2:1 | 12/2016) / the duration of your qualifications (12/2013 – 12/2016).

Key Skills

Under or next to qualifications, you should list the core hard and soft skills you have that would be invaluable for the role.

A hard skill is a practical ability or skill, such as computer skills, language capability or industry-specific certifications.

A soft skill focuses on attitudes and behaviours such as time management, the ability to lead a team or the ability to explain things to non-technical or industry-specific audiences.

Work Experience and related key achievements

This section should include all relevant work experience in chronological order (latest to oldest).

It should include:

  • Your Job Title
  • The organisation’s name
  • Duration of the role, i.e., MM/YYYY – MM/YYYY

Don’t worry about writing heaps of information within this; that’s something you can go into detail about during interviews.

You should include a short summary of your key responsibilities/projects worked and a list of the key achievements/successes from this role underneath. Listing the key achievements/successes will outline the contributions and the positive impact you made in your roles.

Hobbies and interests

It isn’t essential to include your hobbies and interests in your CV, particularly if space is tight, but mentioning relevant ones could be a good opportunity to bring some personality into your CV and be good culture-fit or culture-add points.

Where we come in

If you need further advice on how to make the most out of your CV or any other part of the recruitment process, get in touch!

www.Identify-solutions.co.uk

info@identifysolutions.co.uk

02920021050 – Cardiff office

02080514777 – London office

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