Ten top tips for writing a great CV

Your CV is probably the most important document you will ever produce, given that you only have one chance to make an impression. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to CV writing, but remember, the end game is to secure interviews.

Here are Kingsley Associates' top 10 tips for creating a great CV:

  1. Create a strong profile
    This is your opening line, and needs careful consideration. This should be three lines in length focussed on specific experience (including sectors) and skills. A profile must not contain subjective, unsubstantiated judgements (eg. Effective communicator, conscientious hardworking individual).
  2. Remember the purpose of the CV…
    …is to gain you an interview.
  3. Don't over inform
    Your CV needs to contain details of your work history, achievements whilst in these positions, accountabilities, qualifications and professional memberships and a way to contact you (email or mobile number).
  4. Stand out from the rest
    It is essential your CV stands out from the rest; do not produce another generic CV. Create a strong personal brand which is appropriate to the current marketplace.
  5. Be clear, accurate and appropriate
    Ensure to spell check and proof read to check for errors and irrelevancies.
  6. Reverse chronological CVs are preferred
    Start with your present job title and responsibilities in this specific role and then work backwards chronologically. Remember most recent studies and training courses will appear above other education, e.g. secondary school, college.
  7. Presentation, Presentation, Presentation
    Simplicity is the key, use appropriate headings (e.g. personal profile, key skills, employment history).
  8. Do not go overboard on personal details
    This section should be used to express your personality but keep this brief and factual.
  9. Support CVs with high quality covering letters/emails
    Supporting your correspondence should be short, stating the position you are applying for and how it matches with your skills and competencies. You should also state how much experience you have in the relevant field. If speculative more depth about how you match with the organisations' need is required.
  10. Stick with a 2 page CV
    Your CV can be longer if it needs to be, but it should be two pages minimum as the one page CV is still not popular within the current market. Always ensure you start with your name and contact details at the top – not the words Curriculum Vitae.

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