Your CV content


In this article, we'll take you through the information to include in your CV step by step.  Note: you don't need to include the title "curriculum vitae" at the top.
 

Contact details

  • Put your name in bold, clear letters at the top left of your CV. 

  • Include your address and postcode.

  • Add your phone number and state the times you are available. If you have several phone numbers, think who might answer your calls in your absence and give their name, as you want to project a professional image at all times.

  • Include your email address and remember to check your messages regularly in case you have one inviting you to interview.  Again, you want to project the right image, so avoid having an unprofessional email address.

  • Organise the information for this section well so you don't waste space unnecessarily.

Personal summary/profile

This is the crux of your CV - recruiters will scan your CV in just a few seconds - so how do you grab their attention? Your summary must contain 3-4  key skills related to the job for which you are applying. If you are not convinced about the content of your profile, consider the following points:

  • Market your strengths and show how they match with the post on offer.

  • Use your imagination: You're in a lift and want to make a good impression on the person next to you before the lift reaches the next floor.  You have just a few seconds to make your mark - what are the key points you will focus on?

  • What would you say to your friends or your family if you had a 30-second slot to market your skills?

  •  What are you most proud of?

  • You can also specify your desired role, the level of responsibility you're looking for and the target sector. We recommend you do this if you want to take your career in a new direction, so the recruiter is clear about what you want.

  • Don't be too general about your personal qualities as this tends to dilute them.  Stay true to the skills and experiences that you have and can prove.

Your profile may be:

  • 4-5 lines long

  • Presented as a few bullet points

  • A combination of both

Career history (chronological CV only)

For each job you have had, give:

  • Dates of employment

  • The name of the company

  • Its business and location

  • Your job title and responsibilities

  • Your key achievements

Some tips for how to write this section:

  • Be concise and specific in describing your responsibilities (no more than one or two lines)

  • List your work experience starting with the most recent to the oldest

  • Keep it simple and present the information clearly. The recruiter will want to find where you were and when easily

  • Justify career breaks. If you have been raising a family, then say so and list the skills you have developed during this period. This also applies for sabbatical leave and time off for training  or study

  • When describing your achievements, remind yourself of tasks that you completed and which had a positive impact on the company. Focus on those that are relevant to the job in question. State your results starting with an action verb. We recommend that you do the CAR coaching exercise to help you and use the list of action verbs.

  • If you have had one or more fixed-term contracts during your career, it may be useful to group them under a single heading "Temporary Employment". Keep it short to avoid duplication and to keep it compact.

  • Do not "drown" the recruiter with useless information. Put more emphasis on what you think is essential for this position and be concise.

Key skills and achievements (functional CV only)

List your key skills and achievements, as follows:

  • Choose the things that have a direct link to the job for which you are applying. If the ad asks for a person with organsational skills, financial ability, IT skills, etc, use these as your titles.

  • Remember that the employer must be able to identify immediately your skills related to the job. Don't be afraid to leave out irrelevant points.  

Education

  • Include degrees with graduation dates (month and year) and the names of schools/colleges/universities.  We also recommend you specify the title of the degree (eg Bachelor, Master or Doctorate) and specialism (eg Sociology)

  • Summarise diplomas and certificates as much as possible. Limit the list to save space. If, however, there is a direct link between employment and your training, give the recruiter more details, for example by adding the skills acquired under the heading of training.

  • Recruiters do not necessarily expect oustanding results in all areas, so be honest. If you failed the exam, say so.

  • Explain any career breaks.

  • If you have graduated abroad, try to find out the British equivalent so the recruiter understands the content of your training.

  • This part is more significant for new graduates or those with little or no work experience.  The more work experience you have, the more you'll put in career history and the less you will give to this section.

Vocational training

If you have undertaken any training while employed, include it in this section. Give brief details of training, the training organisation and dates. You can also include more details about your professional memberships (if applicable) here.
 

Other Skills

IT and language skills (including level of fluency) are of interest in any job. However, don't include anything unnecessarily. For example, if the ad doesn't mention the need to speak several languages ​​and your French is "rusty", don't mention it in your CV. If you have completed internships abroad, talk about them here.

Your interests and hobbies

This section is optional. If you want to include something here, keep it short and avoid controversial subjects (eg membership of a political or religious group). Remember that a recruiter will ask you about your extra-curricular activities. If you boast your merits as a surfer but in reality tried it only once 15 years ago, be on your guard!

Personal information

This section is optional. The information listed here will give the employer information about your personality. For example, being involved in community activities suggests that you are teamworker, have a social conscience, etc. Remember you don't need to give your marital status or your age on your CV, but you can indicate your nationality if it is of particular interest.

References

You don't need to include names of referees on your CV, as most employers will ask you later if you have been selected for the position. You can say "References available on request".  If the recruiter asks for references, provide the names of two or three contacts who can vouch for your professional skills. Check the accuracy of the information with your contacts (they may have changed jobs or company) and let them know they can expect a call or message from a potential employer.