Writing your CV

A CV is an essential part of any job application. It's the first impression the employer has of you. It's your opportunity to put all of your skills, experience and qualifications in one place.

On average, an employer spends 8.1 seconds, reading your CV or application before they make a decision.

A well-written CV could be the difference between getting an interview and not being considered for the role. There are some key pieces of information you should always include. And in total, your CV should be no more than two pages. The essentials are your personal details, a personal statement or profile, relevant key skills, work, experience, education, and qualifications, hobbies, and interests. And there are some things that you don't need to include. These are your religion, age, marital status, or health. These could all open you to discrimination.

Only certain health conditions must be declared. For example, if you take medication that prohibits you operating machinery. When it comes to your work personal details, keep it brief on what's necessary, include your name, a contact number and email address and show that your email is professional. Your profile file is the sales pitch placed at the beginning of a CV. This is a concise statement that highlights your key attributes or reasons for deciding to work in a particular field.

It is this area that you will want to tailor specifically to the job role you're applying for. When adding your skills, you should include information that is relevant to the job you're applying for. This is where you talk about, for example, the languages you speak and it packages you can use, think about your skills and what could be transferred to the role you're applying for. Your employment history needs to be in chronological order and include the company you worked for, your job title, start date and finished date.

If you're still working in that role, you can put present, you then have the opportunity to include a short and clear description of your role responsibilities and key achievements. Once you've included your employment, you need to add your education and qualifications. This is then followed by your hobbies and interests. These provide a more rounded picture of you and gives you something to talk about in the interview, especially if they're relevant to the job. For example, a blog you write, if you want to be a journalist. Only include interests and hobbies if they're relevant to the employer and don't make them up. Consider what they say about you.

Finally references. You don't need to provide names of referees at this stage, maybe just say available on request, but make sure you have lined these up.