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Help for Job Seekers

 

WHAT IS A CV ?

CV stands for curriculum vitae. The CV is a summary of your past education, employment and personal details.  If you don't like using the word CV - you could use "personal information chart".

Although the CV shows your qualifications, skills and experience - it can sometimes tell us something about your personality. The way you put your CV together tells the employer how you may handle a job. 

The CV should be brief - no more than 2 pages.  It should emphasise your strong points.  You may need more than one CV to suit different types of jobs.

DESIGNING A CV ?

Most CV's cover the following areas:

Personal details                      

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone no  (home / work - day / evening)
  • Date of birth
  • Age  (some people put their age but this "dates" the cv)
  • Status  (eg single, married)
  • Nationality

Education/training

  • The place you studied
  • The year/s you attended

Qualifications

  • The date each qualification was gained
  • The examining body (eg rsa, pitman, gcse, `o' level)
  • The subject/s you studied
  • The result/s you gained (eg grade a, pass, distinction)
  • Listing all your qualifications is not always necessary.  If the results were poor it may be better not to mention them at all.  If you have loads of qualifications - only list those relevant to your work.  Lack of qualifications is not a problem if you have work experience.

Employment / work experience          

  • Dates you were working:  "from and to"
  • Position / job title you held in the company
  • Employer's name and address
  • Duties undertaken
  • Your list of jobs should start with your current job (if any), then list previous jobs in descending chronological order.

Skills   

  • This section could include the practical skills you have but do not have a qualification for - for example: computer literate, first aid skills, speak a second language, car maintenance skills.

Note:    you may choose to put this information in the section "other information".

Other information                   

  • This section could include courses that you have attended through college or work  whereby you have gained knowledge but no formal qualification (eg word processing, supervisory skills, time management skills). 
  • In this section you may also want to mention that you have a clean driving licence or no criminal convictions (especially if you are looking for driving or security work). 
  • You may also want to mention any interests or hobbies that you have.
  • If you have been involved in voluntary work, charity work or any committees (for exmaple the PTA).

Referees         

There are three types of reference:

  • Professional   (provided by your current or previous employer)
  • Educational / academic  (provided by your tutor)
  • Personal  (this should be provided by someone who knows you well, and who holds a regular responsible job)

Remember . . . . . . .

  • Always ensure that you have asked the person whether they are OK to provide a reference.
  • Whichever way you choose - remember that the way you display your CV is your own choice - just make sure that it is neat, organised into a logical order and that you have checked all spellings and grammar.
  • Also ensure that all your headings stand out - for example the main heading should be 50% bigger than the normal text and section headings should be emphasised by either using the bold or underscore function or typing capital letters.
  • Ensure that subjects are correctly written - eg maths should be mathematics and typing should be typewriting skills.
  • Ensure that acronyms are expanded (eg Computer Literacy and Information Technology should be typed in full as many employers will not know what CLAIT stands for).
  • Examining bodies such as the RSA. and the JEB. are well known and can remain as an acronym.