There is no absolute right or wrong
format for a CV, but most tend to follow the guidelines below.
In summary, it is acceptable to deviate from these guidelines
and where the role is looking for specific information, it is
advisable to ensure that the most relevant information is at the
fore. Additionally, do not write a 'War & Peace'. Two to three
pages is generally enough and more will tend to distract and will
not be read in detail.
Always ensure that you proof read your
CV and if possible get someone else to do the same.
If you are applying for a given position,
it should be evident why you are suitable for the role.
Suggested format for a CV, Curriculum Vitae
If possible, try to keep your CV to 2-3 pages
in length. Ensure that these pages are numbered with your name
Begin with your personal details:
name, address/location, contact details, telephone, mobile,
Personal Profile: (optional)
This is normally two or three sentences
that sum up your career achievements to date and any particular
special skills you can bring to an employer. It is a selling tool
and should include features, achievements & benefits. It is
not designed to provide an autobiography. If included, it should
be relevant to the requirements of the particular opportunity.
This should be in reverse chronological
order. Always talk in terms of career history and not work history
as this provides a more professional image.
Date Employed: This should include both the
month and the year - not just the years alone.
Please note: If you have been with one employer throughout
more than one role, or the employers name has changed (for any reason),
always head with the complete period. Role changes and promotions
should be shown as subheadings. See below regarding company name
Company Name and Location: If the company is
not well known, it may be appropriate to include business or business
sector. If the company has a high profile parent company, but is
not well known itself, always remember to state this information
(part of .....Group). Company name changes should be included in
brackets after the company name.
Position Held: This should be the full title
of the position held whilst employed by the company. If you held
a number, they should be listed with the most senior position first
plus the dates and the position was held in brackets beside the
Achievements: There should now follow one or
two sentences about the responsibilities of the position in general.
This should be followed by a list (possibly bulleted) detailing
your achievements in the role. This
is by far the most important part of any CV. Do not just
list the job description. That will add no information about you.
You must bring our your personal contribution and achievements,
i.e. your 'value add'.
The last two or three positions held should be detailed
in the manner described above. Positions prior to this would normally
be included in less detail. Again bias should be given to listing
your personal achievements and contribution you made to that company.
Skills and Qualifications:
Educational: All educational qualifications
should be listed in reverse chronological order with the dates that
the qualifications were studied or gained, the institution, and
where relevant, the grades obtained.
If you are applying for a role where these qualifications
are necessary, you may wish to include this information on page
one of the CV or include it in the optional profile.
Professional: Membership to any professional
bodies should be included. Other professional qualifications should
also be included.
Skills Summary: Where a technical role is being
sought, it is usually necessary to include a technical skills summary;
e.g. platform, software, languages etc. This should also include
the level of proficiency; e.g. beginner, competent, expert, and
sometimes the years/months of exposure. This type of information
is often best represented in a table.
Languages: These should be listed including
degree of fluency.
Date of Birth: If actual age is included -
make sure it is current.
Marital Status: This can be included on page
one if it is particularly relevant - e.g. for an overseas posting.
NB: certain countries will not allow work/resident permits for couples
who are not married.
Leisure Activities: This will often show an
insight into your broader personality. However, it is not wise to
list too many here as prospective employers may wonder when you
have time to work. Also, sports that have a high element of risk
can cause concern with regard to possible injury.
Driving licence: This should be included when
relevant to the position, e.g. sales. It is advisable to note if
there are any driving penalties registered, as some companies may
have limitations on their insurance policies.
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