Skills Centre

What is a CV?

A Curriculum Vitae, also known as CV, shows what you have done with your life so far; your education, training, work experience and skills.

Follow our guide below to have a standout CV.

The aim of your CV is to present positive information about you in a way that makes the employer want to meet you. It takes time to produce a good CV and it should always be kept up to date.

There are different types of CVs that you can use to show off your skills and achievements.

Formal CV – for use when you have employment experience.

Skill Based CV – for use if you have some employment history.

School Leaver CV – for use if you have just left school and have no work history.

General CV – which can be adapted for any use.

Rules for your CV

Who will read it?

What are they looking for? Be brief and to the point, bullet points and lists for skills rather than long sentences.

Tell it like it is!

Say who you are, what you’re doing now and what skills this has given you, what qualifications you have achieved and at what level.

What have you done?

Make sure your work history highlights your suitability for the job, if your job title was vague say what the job actually was.

Be proud of achievements

Explain the jobs in terms of what you have achieved.

Set it out well

Keep it to two sides of A4, don’t drop the font size to cram more in, just be selective with what you include. Space the content well and leave plenty of white space around the text.

Sounds silly but make sure you check and double check all spelling mistakes, make sure you have all text in the same font and make sure it follows a set format e.g. all titles are in bold or there is the right number of spaces between bullet points.

CV’s for your first job

If you have left school or college and haven’t had a job before your CV will be a bit empty. You can still create a good CV by thinking about your skills and education and presenting them well.

Title – some CVs have a title which says the job that you are looking for or qualified in, for example “Graphic Designer” or “Joinery Apprentice”.

Personal details – name, address, home and mobile number, e-mail address if you have one.
Education/Qualifications – set these out giving your most recent school/college first. List the qualifications you have gained at each stage (if you don’t have them yet either put a predicted grade or ‘pending’).

Work experience – most people have done some ‘work’ even if they did not get paid for it. Think about it: School work experience, helping family or neighbours, things that you may have done in school or college such as helping out with an open day, school event, showing visitors around, working in the school library etc.

If you are looking to create a CV and don’t know where to start, try using  CV Maker, using the link in the CV Builder and other Tools area, this will give you an idea of how to set things out.