Employment support – How to write a CV

How to write a CV

As of July last year, around 1.4 million people in the UK were unemployed, many of them entering the job market for the first time, but many also experiencing job loss as a result of the global pandemic.  

Sadly, the economic impact of 2020 is still uncertain, and many job seekers are either failing to get themselves noticed or are too afraid to apply. But, countless individuals are managing to find new employment at this time, and most are achieving that goal by perfecting their CVs.  

Even though employers only spend around 5-7 seconds reading this paper-based job pitch, countless rejections come down to CV appearances alone, with grammar/spelling mistakes one of the most notable bugbears for most. With that in mind, consider the following top tips on how to write a CV that won’t end up in the bin.  

The best things to include in your CV 

 

Your CV doesn’t have to be the next War and Peace. In fact, you’d never get a job if it was! Ultimately, this is a practical document that should outline the basics about who you are/why you’d be best for the job. Rather than waxing lyrical with fancy language, you should strip back. Remember, an employer will likely spend less than seven seconds here, and in that time they’ll likely be looking for – 

 

– Contact details 

– A profile of key attributes 

– Education  

– Work experience 

– References 

The best tips for structure  

 

The best CV is one that’s been condensed to a single sheet of A4. Bullet Points should be used for every section to make information easier to skim read. You should list achievements/employment history in reverse order so that your most recent achievements are at the forefront. 

A general structural CV layout should look something like –  

 

– Introduction

– Skills summary 

– Employment history 

– Achievements 

– Any relevant training 

– References on request 

The best software to use 

 

There is a range of CV-specific apps out there but, as much as it benefits your CV to keep things simple, Microsoft Word remains the best software for CV creation according to the majority of LinkedIn professionals. 

Microsoft Word does offer CV templates but, while these can be useful as a guide, we typically recommend against using them, as an average 85% of job seekers do just that. That makes it much harder to stand apart from the crowd than if you simply structure your CV layout using techniques such as – 

– Margins set to 1” at the top and 0.63” at the bottom (as preferred by most professionals) 

– Bullet points to break down each section 

– Headings for easier skimming 

– Tables to keep information aligned 

 

Help is on hand to ease your CV concerns 

 

As you can see, CVs are elusively simple once you get the hang of them. But, if you’re still unsure what to include or how to present that information, rest easy that there is help at hand. Here at Realise charity, we’ve helped 225 people boost their CVs and gain employment, and we’re here to make the same happen for you if you simply reach out today.