CV is short for Curriculum Vitae, which translates loosely as - the course of my life. It should provide an outline of your academic and professional achievements, refer to your unique skills, character, experience and offer an insight into who you are as an individual.
That's a lot to get in! Especially when the majority of sources advise a CV length of 2-3 pages maximum.
So how do you do it in an effective and impactful way?
Our Associate Director, Alex Pitts, has delivered a talk titled 'People on Paper' to a variety of audiences including students and experienced tech professionals. In this article, we will pick out the key highlights - including CV basics, templates and things to avoid.
The Basics - What you need to include in your CV:
When it comes to email addresses, make sure yours is professional.
Personal Profile / Summary
This is an opportunity to tailor your CV to each application without writing a full covering letter. 6-10 lines is ideal. Make it punchy and highlight your ability within the essential skills and experience required for the role.
Education / Acadamic Qualifications
Most relevant, recent qualifications first. Don't feel the need to list every GSCE and A Level result if it's not needed! 10 GCSEs Grades A-C including Maths, Chemistry and English may suffice.
Reverse chronological order again here. Break each role down and make it easy to understand for the employer. They should understand where you sit within the organisation, how your contributions have benefitted each employer and how you are likely to add value in the future.
Skills & Achievements
Depending on each application, this is a section that may need to preceed Education and Work Experience. This is often the case in the Tech and Digital sector.
Interests and Hobbies
Create talking points for the interview and make sure an employer sees you as more than a list of skills and experience.
"Available on request." Saves you some space that you can be more impactful with further up.
Alex Pitts - Recruitment Director
Use a simple font
Don't add a photo to your CV
Avoid lots of images
Rating your skills
Use bullet points
Name your document professionally
Include facts and figures
You may require different versions of your CV depending on the jobs that you are applying for. Depending on each job, you may choose to provide more or less detail for some areas of previous work history or academic achievement. It is important to focus on providing more information to address topics and competencies the prospective employer is going to be interested in.
Keep you CV to a maximum of 3 pages. If you have recently graduated or you are early in your career, 2 pages should suffice. You can add further detail with a covering letter or portfolio of work, the CV is a summary.
Get someone to check over your CV before you make applications! There are plenty of free resources at your disposal, and specialist recruitment agencies can also help you out here - they know their customers better than anyone and they will happily discuss your CV with you and it won't cost you anything.