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Building your CV

Writing a Winning CV

Your CV is the first point of contact with an employer. From the employer's perspective, it's the only available information with which to assess your skills and suitability for a job.

All jobs are different, and so are all employers. Your CV will need to be tailored to each potential job and employer. It's important that your CV is appropriate to the job, addresses criteria, and above all else is relevant to the position.

Your CV needs to be interesting, as well as clear and concise. It should make a good first impression.

Everyone has a collection of achievements – things they've accomplished in their role. What's important is to be able to quantify those things as a work value measurement. The employer will look for results which relate to the job.

Remembering that your CV is being targeted to a specific job, you will need to show a potential employer that your previous work has been both productive and significant.

Personal Statement

A critical aspect of creating a CV that has a dynamic impact is a personal statement; this will enable the employer to quickly identify the strategic value you can add to their organisation. Your CV should be a selling tool aimed at persuading the employer to invite you to interview. Your personal statement is a critical part of making this happen.

A well written statement can be between 50 and 200 words, although it is important not to ramble. Remember you always have your cover letter to include interesting and engaging information which will act as the enticement for a potential employer to read your CV.

In Summary

Include a relevant personal statement
Keep it professional, no photos, fancy paper, folders or fonts
Check for spelling errors
Stick to bullet points of no more than two lines each
Detail your career chronologically with your most recent position first
No more than two to three pages
Don't just list job tasks. Use your CV to demonstrate how personal skills, experience, qualifications and achievements can translate into real benefits
Professional Qualifications, education and awards should be listed in reverse chronological order
Don't include 'socialising' or 'going to the pub' as interests, for obvious reasons
Don't leave gaps in your CV. If you've had a year travelling or similar, it is better to include this than to leave the reader guessing
Use the past tense, it sounds more powerful
You may need more than one version of your CV – highlighting different aspects of skills and experience


Never falsify or give any misleading information to an employer – it's illegal
Don't put yourself in a position where your statements can't be trusted. Only give verifiable information, and don't exaggerate.
Remember that you're competing with other people. Quality of information is what really matters on any CV. Keep it real, at all times.

CV template