CV Writing Tips
Your CV is your opportunity to provide your potential future employer all the necessary and relevant information regarding your education, experience, and skills. Overall, it needs to be well formatted and easy to follow. The content needs to be crisp, clear, and concise.
“According to research carried out by TheLadders.com in 2012, the average time spent reading a CV was just 6.25 seconds.”
- The most important points to make sure you have in your CV are; contact details and a profile/ personal statement, your education and work experience, any skills and achievements that are relevant to the role you are applying too, your personal interests and a small insight into your personality.
- Make sure your CV is no longer than two pages long. Remember this is your opportunity to show the employer what skills and experience you have which are relevant to the role, not a chance to show-off everything you’ve ever done. Be ruthless with each piece of information you are including. What is its purpose? Why would it be useful to the recruiter/person reading?
- Tailor your CV every time you apply for a role! The consensus is that a quality approach to job-hunting is much more effective than a quantity search.
- To make your CV look professional, be meticulous about spelling (spell-check it or get someone else to check it for you) and style (be consistent with font, spacing, headings, bullets and margins throughout).
- Remember, you will likely have the opportunity to submit a cover letter or complete an application form, this is where you can showcase and elaborate on some of the skills and experience you are listing in your CV. Your CV is the snapshot of your skills!
General rules to follow in constructing your CV include:
- You do not need to head your CV up with “CV” or “curriculum vitae”. This is not necessary. Just start with your name at the top.
- Try not keep the length of your CV under control by reducing the font size. A good example of a font to use would be Arial size 11.
- Be consistent with your grammar. Try not to swap between the first and third person. For example, “A dynamic individual...” followed by “I have six years of experience....”.
- Decide how you will highlight different sections of the CV, e.g. slightly larger font, bold. As a rule, bold and underlining the same piece of text is too much.
- Avoid long paragraphs of information. Unfortunately, it is quite likely the recipient will have very limited time to look at your CV, so all the information needs to stand out. Bullet points will be invaluable on your CV.
- Show your personality!
Top Tip – Take a look at some of the sample CV’s online/via our recruitment partners and you can see examples in practice.
ICAS CV Writing Tips Guide
ICAS Cover Letter Guide
This helpsheet is designed to assist members with an important issue of general application and is not intended to be a definitive statement covering all aspects of this area. No responsibility for any person acting or refraining to act as a result of any material in this helpsheet can be accepted by ICAS.