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How to write a great CV

Allen Associates, News & Blog

Your CV is intended to showcase your skills and expertise. It introduces you to prospective employers and gives them an insight into who you are and what you’ve achieved. It’s important to take the time to get it right. Here are a few guidelines which we hope you’ll find useful:

1. Divide your career history into sections, using the following headings:

  • Personal details: Include your full name, address, email and telephone numbers
  • Education: Unless you are at graduate entry level, it is not necessary to list your A-levels. It’s more important to focus on further education, particularly diplomas, qualifications and degrees
  • Professional qualifications: You may like to mention how these qualifications were obtained
  • Current or last employment: This section is likely to be of most interest to prospective employers and needs the most attention. If you are applying for a particular job, be sure to address requests for salary information or specific skills
  • Previous employment history: This is less important and can be relayed in brief. Be careful to explain any gaps – for example, if you took time out to go travelling or raise a family
  • Training and development: Don’t provide a long list. It’s better to emphasise the training courses which are relevant either to the role you are applying for or which showcase specific skills
  • Personal interests and activities: This is optional but it may be worth including if you feel they reinforce key aspects of your personality, skills or experience – such as the role of school governor, voluntary worker or fund-raiser

2. Keep your CV factual. Avoid being too verbose or adopting a conversational tone.

3. Write in the third-person.

4. Don’t include your reasons for leaving your current role. This is best discussed at interview.