First impressions count – and your CV will determine the first impressions that a prospective employer forms of you. It’s vital you get it right, because a good CV will ensure you get noticed and ultimately secure you an interview. Read on to enhance your chances of attaining a top job through a quality CV.
There are no definitive rules to writing a good CV, but there are some basic guidelines you can follow to ensure your CV is presented professionally. So here are some general points about writing your CV – followed by a step-by-step guide to how to write each section.
Keep It Clear
For maximum impact your CV should follow a logical layout with headings and section breaks.
Keep It Uncluttered
Use bold text and bullet points to ensure you highlight specific information.
Keep It Focused
Emphasize your relevant skills and experience, tailoring your information to the specific job application.
This guide takes you step by step through the CV layout that we recommend to candidates. (please download the CV template here).
This should be simple and contain your full name and the title Curriculum Vitae or CV.
Personal Profile / Cover Letter
This is an optional section and can be used to indicate your career aspirations for your specific industry, and to convey in a positive way why you are seeking a career move. Be aware however that a poor personal profile can do more harm than good, so don’t try to be clever. Use your Personal Profile/Cover Letter to honestly reflect your skills, experience, attitude and behaviour.
Your key achievements form a key section of your CV. It needs to really engage your prospective employer – so use facts, figures and timescales to demonstrate that you are a competent achiever in your current and previous roles. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself, but substantiate your claims with solid evidence.
Using bullet points makes your achievements easier to read – and remember to use strong words that demonstrate what you actually did, words like managed, organised, supervised, designed, formed, developed, significantly improved/reduced, successfully created and so on.
The achievements you select for this section should reflect a number of different competencies, tailored to the job for which you are applying.
Your personal details comprise your full name and title, your postal address and full contact details including your e-mail address, cell phone home and work telephone numbers, plus a contact number of a friend or relative. Please see the CV template for all other required personal details.
School Education and Qualifications
High school education is important, please make sure you include name of school, highest grade passed and the year you completed your high school education.
Terms & Availability
Please include what notice period you are required to give at your current employment, your current salary package (basic + benefits, commission, incentives, etc) and what your salary requirements are.
Present your most recent qualifications first, providing the name of the institution, qualification title and the date that you completed your qualification.
List all courses completed, eg. first aid, computer courses, technical courses, etc.
Present your most recent qualifications first, providing the name of the institution, qualification title, date that you completed your qualification.
Your career history is a compact summary of your employment history and the responsibilities that you held in each post.
Start with the most recent or current employer, detailing the name of the company (and location of company), month/year you started and finished, your position held (eg. Bookkeeper), a detailed list of duties and your reason for leaving the company. Please note, if you are still currently employed, please add next to “reason for leaving” why you are seeking alternative employment. If you had a number of different roles within the same Company, list the dates (months/years) and the positions held and then detail the specific roles and responsibilities.
For every position held, please add a detailed list of your duties, this is critical information and helps an employer or recruiter to correctly assess your level of experience.
For clarity, your key responsibilities should be bullet pointed – and remember to include any extra responsibilities that would make you stand out from your colleagues. Don’t make the mistake of confusing key responsibilities for a full job description.
Finally, explain any gaps in your employment history by detailing the dates along with a short, concise sentence providing the reason why you were not working.
You need to supply two to three references – and ideally, one of these should be your current or most recent employer. Rest assured, they will not be contacted without your permission being requested. However it demonstrates that you are comfortable with the referees being contacted at the appropriate time.
It is imperative that you fully proof read your CV to make sure that you have accurate spelling and grammar. If you’re unsure, ask a friend or relative to read your CV for you. It is a terribly poor reflection on a candidate when an employer or recruiter receives a CV which has poor spelling and grammar.
Your CV should look standardized, so avoid using fancy fonts and stick to a standard font size of 10/12. Print it on white paper and use black ink.
RedCat CV Template
If you like our suggested layout, you can download the CV template (MS Word) below which you simply fill in and send back to us. We would prefer to receive your CV by email, but if this is not possible, please refer to our full contact details.
please refer to our full contact details.