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CV Template and tips – How to write the perfect CV in 2020

Writing or updating a CV is normally the first hurdle faced by a jobseeker. Our template offers you a guide and plenty of helpful tips to create your own.

image of man holding paper

Your Name
Your post code
Your phone number
Your email address

Personal Profile:

Two or three sentences, a short summary –  describing your professional background and,  with respect to the type of work you are looking for, showing your relevant skills and experience. Make it as interesting as you can. Don’t be modest but don’t tell untruths!  Keep it short, 3 – 4 sentences.  Use some key words that are relevant to the specific job you are applying for.  Think of positive words that a previous manager/ boss would use to describe you.

The profile is your opportunity to interest the employer to the extent that they read the rest of your CV and put you on their shortlist pile. If it doesn’t relate to the JD and/or  the Personal Specification, they may not invite you to an interview. Remember that whatever you say in your CV, you must be comfortable with discussing at an interview. 

Key Skills

Bulleted items, key skills and strengths.  Again – the skills you chose need to match the JD and/or Personal Specification. 

Here are some examples:

  • IT Skills – name programmes/ software that you have used
  • Teamwork – give an example 
  • Sales/ Achieving targets – give an example of what you’ve achieved
  • Communication skills – try to be specific – written (what? Reports etc); verbal – (how and to whom?)
  • Specific job-related qualifications – e.g. SIA Licences, CSCS cards (give expiry dates)
  • Languages – native tongue and levels spoken
  • Driving Licences?
  • Any other key skill/qualification relevant to the job applied for e.g. customer service (give an example)

Work Experience/Employment History

Start with your most recent job or experience first.  You don’t need to go back more than 10-15 years unless it’s something very relevant to the current job applied for.  Try and keep your CV to maximum 2 pages so keep the description of responsibilities short and to the point.  Include voluntary work and work experience and cover any significant gaps – e.g. looking for a new job; raising children; training/ studying

  • Job Title   |   Company Name   |   Location   |   Dates From – To
    Responsibilities:
  • Job Title   |   Company Name   |   Location   |   Dates From – To
    Responsibilities:
  • Job Title   |   Company Name   |   Location   |   Dates From – To
    Responsibilities:

Education and Qualifications

Always put your most recent qualifications first and work backwards.  

Name of Qualification   |   Grade/ Result   |   Training provider/ Institution   |   Dates 

Don’t make the list too long by listing every single qualification on a separate line –  so for GCSEs, for example, say “ 6 GCSEs at Grades 9-4 or A* – C including English and Maths

Hobbies and Interests

One or two sentences maximum about the things you like to do in your spare time –  to give an employer an extra insight into your personality.  But remember it’s something you might be asked about at an interview.

References available on request

You don’t need to include the details of your references on your CV. These can come later when you’ve been offered the job

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