viewing a cv at job interview

How to write a CV

The purpose of your Curriculum Vitae is to present you as a suitable employee to a prospective employer. Employers often want to see evidence of someone’s skills and experience and this is the method most choose. Make sure that yours gives information about you in a positive light. Your CV needs to ‘sell’ you as a good employee.

There are no strict rules about the length or format of a CV but this guide shows some commonly followed conventions, and gives you an idea of how to set one out. The example on this website is condensed to fit onto the page, you should make sure that yours is complete, well laid out and easy to read.

Your CV needs to contain plenty of detail about your skills, qualifications and work experience. If an employer cannot see what they are looking for written down, you may not be asked to interview, even if you do meet the employer’s requirements. Remember though that a 7 page essay is likely to bore the reader, so keep it to a reasonable length!

Example of a good CV - page 1

Example of a good CV page two

Here are some comments on each section of the CV:

Personal Details:

Include your full name and contact details. You may also like to include your date of birth & nationality.

Employment History:

Include details of your jobs, including temporary work. DON’T just provide a list of your job titles and employment dates. Write a short paragraph or bullet points telling the reader about your main duties, key achievements and responsibilities. This will show an employer if you meet the requirements of their job description.

Start with your most recent job first then work back in order. You may summarise a long career history, but don’t leave out details relevant to the job you are applying for! Don’t include your reason for leaving a job (unless it was a temporary position) or your salary as this information can go against you. If necessary, your Shard consultant can pass on these details to the employer.

Education & Qualifications:

Include subjects taken, grades, dates and where you studied. Also include training courses at work. It is a good idea to have a separate section about your computer skills, especially if the positions you are applying for will include computer based work.

Interests & Hobbies:

An important section which helps to form a more rounded picture of you as an individual. You could also list your major achievements.

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