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Tips for Writing a Strong CV


What is a CV?

A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is a personal document created to apply for a position of employment. When building your CV you should remember to market yourself specifically to each job; meaning you should tailor your CV to the Job Specification.

The CV should include detailed information regarding your professional history, skills and abilities, and your achievements to date.

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Structuring a CV

There is no exact structure to abide by when structuring your CV, and you can be flexible as long as you ensure you’re including the relevant information. Ensure you include the following as you structure your CV:

  • Name and contact details

  • Professional summary/Personal profile7917330257552410

  • Professional experience

  • Educational experience

  • Educational qualification(s)

  • Employee and/or character references (optional)

  • Skills and abilities (optional)

  • Hobbies and interests (optional)

The three optional points outlined can strengthen your CV if included.

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Name and Contact Details

It’s best practice to outline your contact details underneath your name at the top of the CV.

The top of the CV should look something like this:

Anthony Logica

Mainstay, Co. Main, Ireland | 0812345679 | hi@englishlogica.com

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There is a certain amount of generic detail in every CV which you don’t need to change for every job application; but your contact details are essential and should be kept recent and up to date. There is nothing worse than finding a job that’s meant for you and sending an outdated CV.

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Professional Summary/Personal Profile

The Professional Summary, or Personal Profile, is possibly the most important aspect of the CV. This paragraph should stand out to the employer and should include connections between the job on offer, and what you can offer as a candidate for the role. Aim to match your skills and qualities to requirements that you may find listed in the job specification. Ensure that the summary is light, without delving into too much detail. Aim to be short and sweet, and touch on points that the employer may want to unearth during the interview. This will open up more time to speak in the interview.

Below is an example of a Job Specification and a Professional Summary to match:

Job Specification

  • Sales Experience

  • Product Knowledge

  • Knowledge of Stock Ordering

  • Knowledge of Basic Principles of Display and Presentation

  • Knowledge of Housekeeping Duties

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Personal Profile

I have been working the Sales Sector for the past 3 years, in different aspects of Sales. I enjoy working with Electronics and I excelled in Game Console Electronics when I was allocated that section of the store. Product presentation is priority, as I feel this paves the way for the in-store sale and it captures the eye of the customer.

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As you can see, not every point is touched on from the job spec, but the candidate ensures they use the points they feel strongest in. Always remember that this paragraph is used as an eye-catcher.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot find a link between the job spec and your skills or abilities, you should give an account of yourself that demonstrates how capable you are of doing the job. If you find yourself here, then you really must make the most of the Personal Profile. Ask yourself questions in relation to the job. Write your answers down. Merge the best parts of your answers together to create the Personal Profile that fits the job best. You could ask yourself questions like:

  1. Who are you/what made you want to apply for this role/where did you come from that would benefit this type of job?

  2. What skills have you perfected that would benefit the company? Skills/attributes that would make you valuable.

  3. Where would you like to be in this company in the future? Career goals.

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