Writing a CV can be a very difficult process. There are so many conventions and it is easy to get confused and just send one out without much care and attention. It takes a long time to perfect a CV, but it is a very valuable tool and essential in your job hunt! The CV is the only piece of information about you an employer usually has. An employer should look at your CV and think that this person can do the job they are applying for.
List higher education and degree qualifications first, including name of institution, dates and grade achieved. Mention any earlier general academic studies in brief. Include details of professional training, place of study and date of qualifications. Employers are also interested in any training and development gained within the workplace. Only list relevant courses.
This is your main chance to market yourself. Don't undersell! Focus on key outcomes and achievements in your career and offer a good insight into your roles within a company. Use action verbs to illustrate your part in the process (you might find a thesaurus useful). Your potential employer will be reading this and asking: 'Can this person do the job?' List your most recent jobs first, including accurate details of the firm's name, your job title and dates worked (in years). If the organisation isn't well known, provide a quick description. Add a brief overview of your key responsibilities. Bullet-point your major achievements, incorporating any measurable targets reached. Be selective. Ask yourself "what's relevant?" and avoid flooding the recruiter with too much detail, which detracts from your key selling points. Offer greater detail on your most recent job. An employer is particularly interested in what you've achieved over the last five years. Help the reader appreciate your experience by using quantifiable language.
Your interests can help you stand out from the crowd. But think carefully about how you describe them. If you have been elected to a certain position, use the word 'elected'. It signals that your peers believe you are reliable and trustworthy, characteristics a company will consider crucial when choosing a new employee. Try and provide more information and think about the messages you are sending. Listing 'entertaining' indicates you're sociable; 'reading political autobiographies' is more interesting than simply 'reading'. Be prepared to expand on any of your interests at interview. If you can't, your credibility will diminish.