Do you want the perfect CV? Yes you do! I’ve put together this guide for anyone that may be struggling to write their Curriculum Vitae. Whether it be the layout or what you write, I (hopefully!) got yah covered!
Before we get started, I should explain (just in case) what a CV actually is. A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is essentially a record of your achievements, experiences and interests summed up on a sheet of A4. It is most commonly given to potential employers but can also be used in the college and university application process.
I’d say probably 99.9% of the time your CV will be typed up using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, Pages or Openoffice. When reading this guide, you can check out my example CV so that you can see what I mean, some of the things on there are what I’ve used on my actual CV. Though it is fake it gives you an idea:
10 Steps to the Perfect CV
The first, and possibly most vital, step of creating your CV is putting your full name, address, contact number and email in the header of your document. Your name should be at the very top and be immediately obvious and the rest should follow in the next line. This is so the person receiving it know who it’s from and how to contact them
The next bit will be the word-iest bit of the whole document- your personal statement. A Personal statement is a paragraph summing up YOU! Remember, you’ve really got to sell yourself and highlight your best qualities. It’s sosososooso important not to copy a personal statement from the internet because it’s got to reflect you, not anyone else. For university applications, UCAS use a screening tool to make sure no one has copied their personal statement from somewhere else. Better get into good practice now!
Underneath the personal statement, you could list roughly 3 key skills you possess. For example: if you’re computer literate, you can drive (hold full driving licence), have good time management, flexible (not physically!!!) etc. It’s these things that can make you stand out against anyone else, which is the primary aim of a CV.
Then, you should list perhaps 3 key interests. This can be anything from purely recreational activities to interests directly related to your career/future career.
We’re halfway there now! Next is listing you main key achievements. This could be if you’ve completed a first aid course, to running the London Marathon! Anything you feel you’ve achieved, plop it down! They can be personal and work related achievements.
Next you should list any previous work experience, be it paid or unpaid. This shows your future employer (or whoever) what experience you have. If you’re yet to gain experience, just leave this bit blank.
Now, you should list any volunteer or charity work you’ve done. To be honest, I’m not completely sure why people do this but apparently it looks good!
Step eight is to list your previous (secondary upwards) and current (if applicable) education institutions. The name, address and the years in which you attended will suffice.
Qualifictions! That’s right time to list your GCSE/ALevel grades (or predicted) and any other recognised qualifications. This shows your potential employer how qualified you are to do the job!
This step requires three words under the heading references: ‘Available On Request’. Job applications may require you to list specific people and contact details but this isn’t necessary on your CV. If they request it, then you can give them a name/contact. Your referee can be a previous employer, Head Of Year/Tutor at school/college or even someone you’ve known for a long time, but not family.
As for layout of your CV, what I’ve put together is a simple, easy to read document. You can customise it however you like, as long as it looks professional, is readable and all the information is there.
I hope this guide was at least a little bit useful. I had fun creating that fake CV so check that out. Also, yes, firstname.lastname@example.org is a real email address that I own. I use it for my gymnastics accounts and things! Feel free to email me about anything gymnastically! Also let me know if you’d like to know any more about CVs.
Thanks for reading – Good luck writing your CV!