Regardless of what direction your career takes and what you choose to do in your professional life, one thing is for sure. You’ll need to know how to make your own CV. Here are the top ten things you’ll need to think about and include when writing your own.
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1. Your name. Well, there’s not much point crafting an amazing CV if the reader can’t even tell who it’s from! As such, it goes without saying that the first thing on your CV should be your name. Align it in the centre of the document and make it bold so that it stands out.
2. Your phone number. The easiest way for prospective employers to reach you is by giving you a call. So make sure you include your digits on your CV too. Put them near the top of the document, on the next line under your name.
What is on a CV?
3. Your email address. Whenever you see a template for a professional CV, the key personal details that need to be included are your name, number and also your email address. This is so that – just in case you can’t be reached by phone for whatever reason – the employer or recruiter will be able to get hold of you by email. Make sure that the email address which you include looks professional though. If needs be, create a new one that you can use just for work experience or job applications.
4. Your personal profile. The first section of your CV – underneath your personal details – should be a brief summary of your key attributes and work experience. This only needs to be a couple of paragraphs long, as employers are unlikely to read much more than that. Keep it concise and to the point, and use straightforward language.
5. Key skills. Even though you may have touched upon these in your personal profile, it’s a good idea to just reiterate a few of your main skills here. Again, this doesn’t need to be in loads of detail. Your CV mainly serves as a way for recruiters to get an idea of whether you’d be suited to working for the company and doing the job. They’ll go into more detail about your experience and skills in the following interview. Include a heading – such as “key skills” – and then just list five short sentences. It’s even worth using bullet points if you can.
How to prepare a good CV
6. Career history. As this is likely to be your first proper CV, and you also probably don’t have a huge amount of work experience to include at this stage, don’t worry too much about including loads of information about your career history. Just bear in mind that this will be a key part of your CV as your career develops. Having said that, if you do have anything relevant that you can include – such as voluntary experience or a Saturday job that you’ve done – you can include that here.
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7. Education / qualifications. Again, you might not have a whole lot of stuff to include here at the moment, but that’s to be expected because you’re still at school. Just include details about which subjects you’re studying, and what grades you’re expecting to get for those subjects. As time goes by, you’ll be able to expand this section if you gain professional qualifications.
8. References. The last section of a CV is often the references section. All you need to do here is include the details for one or two people who can provide you with a good character reference, if the prospective employer calls them. At this early stage in your professional development, it’s okay to include a teacher, careers adviser or instructor here, though it’s best to avoid including a parent.
How to create a professional CV template
9. Bullet points. We touched on this earlier, but it’s a good idea to include some bullet points in certain sections of your CV if you can. This will help you to get some points across in a quick and easily-readable way. For example, you could include a few in your personal profile and key skills section in order to highlight key points.
10. Spelling / grammar. There’s no better way to blow a good first impression than by letting a spelling mistake or grammatical error slip through the net and find its way into your CV. Once you’ve finished writing it, check, check and then check again. Read every sentence. It’s also a good idea to get at least one other person to read over it too, before you send it to anyone else.
We hope you found this guide on how to write a good CV helpful. If you did, and you know anyone else who needs help with writing a CV, please share this guide with them. You can also see our more in-depth guide – which includes a professional looking CV template – on this page.