Writing a CV: What to Include

Name/Contact Details: Your permanent address, telephone number and e-mail address if you have one. CV's may be kept on file with a company for up to 12 months and they may want to get in touch with you in the future.

Personal Details: Personal details can be placed at the beginning or end of the document. If you have a home page/website then include this here.

Education: Give places of education where you have studied - most recent education first. Include subject options taken in each year of your course. Include grades, any higher education courses. If you are still at college/university or are doing any kind of course relevant to the job then state what you are doing, when you will be finished etc..

Work Experience: Last position first (dates), including your title/position and company name. Detail your responsibilities and achievements. Include any voluntary work and work placements you did at school.

Additional Skills: Regional Studies, Project, Analytical. If you have specific computer, foreign language, typing, or other technical skills, consider highlighting them by giving them their own category-- even if they don't relate directly to the occupation you're pursuing.

Personal Interests: Limit this information but look at what it is saying about you (solitary individual or team player). Don't go in to hobbies that have no interest to the position unless you have wrote articles and had them published, have been a captain of some kind of sport.

Referees: Only include - 3 maximum. Ensure at least one is an existing or a previous manager - provide details on company division, job title & telephone/e-mail contact details.

Selecting a CV format
Chronological: Work history in chronological date order (last position first). It shows no gaps or changes in career and is useful for a continuous work history which is related to your next job opportunity.

Functional: Highlights certain skills, achievements and responsibilities rather than chronological listing work history. Good for career changing, periods of unemployment, redundancy or general gaps in work history such as illness. Also useful for repetitious job titles.

Targeted: A one off CV targeted for a specific job or vacancy. It focuses on what you can do and your potential. Unlike chronological or targeted which focus on past work, it can be useful for a specific position

The length of your CV
A long CV is difficult for a recruiter to digest and retain; and, given the volume of CVs many recruiters receive, long CVs are often ignored. Although rules about length are more flexible than they once were, general guidelines still exist.
If you are a student use a one page CV
other workers use one or two pages,
and the very experienced use three-four pages. If your CV doesn't match this pattern, it probably contains unnecessary words or irrelevant information. Eliminate anything that does not help prove you're qualified for the job.

Use plain English don't try and impress with big words that will just use up valuable space

Use good quality paper: Your CV maybe forwarded to another office or department so do not use very thick paper as it can jam faxes or photocopiers.

Where possible, use a good quality printer and print on one side of the paper only

Avoid long sentences

Overall appearance: a CV should be visually pleasing and easy to read - bold headings, use indentations and bullets where applicable. Avoid excessive use of capital letters, underlining, bold or italics. Avoid lots of white space - or very wide margins.

Check out these other articles in the Careers category:

Great Salary Negotiation Tips
Working From Home During School Holidays
The Five Most Common - And Most Avoidable - Resume Errors
Conduct An Informational Interview
Career Success: Get Ahead of the Crowd