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Top 10 tips for writing the perfect first CV


by Alice Cresswell-Hogg | 14 January 2015

Whilst studying for my A-Levels I was applying for apprenticeships and jobs and in order to be successful I had to have a great CV. 

It took me many attempts to write my CV and I asked a lot of people on how to write a good CV for someone with not a whole lot of work experience. CV writing is daunting, you have to know how to sell yourself in a way which conveys yourself to the hiring manager as confident rather than arrogant because at the end of the day those couple of pages are what could be between you and your dream career. Now I'm at the other end of the e-mail, I receive the CVs and I see dozens of them each day, enough to know the difference between a good and a great CV. 

Here are ten tips for writing a successful CV:

  • Before you start typing, write a list of everything that you've accomplished or that you are proud of. Your CV is your opportunity to sell yourself to the employer, many employers simply don't hire individuals based on experience but take into account other factors such as whether you volunteer or if you can speak another language.
  • Presentation is key- keep the layout of your CV pretty simple and make sure the relevant information is clear such as dates of employment, the employer and the position you held.
  • Tailor your CV to the job description- show the employer that you have the right skills and experience to carry out the role.
  • Keep your CV concise - the hiring manager isn't going to want to read through long paragraphs so use bullet points to show key information clearly
  • Remember to include contact details and social media links - be careful when including social media links, only include these if you want the employer to find you on social media, but I highly recommend including your LinkedIn profile on your CV. 
  • When mentioning your interests explain what skills these have given you and how they would be valuable to the role.
  • Don't leave gaps in your CV - if you took a career break to go travelling or to have a child mention it in your CV. You want the last ten years covered, if you were unemployed for a couple of months include the dates and state that you were actively looking for work. This leaves the employer with fewer concerns as you have reasons for gaps between employments.
  • State what computer packages you have used - certain companies may use one that you have previously used which would give you an advantage over other applicants.
  • Include any extra learning you have participated in, for example any computer or language courses.
  • Keep your CV up to date to your current situation.  

If you would like further advice on how to write the perfect CV, why not contact Alice on 0151 224 1481.