When applying for jobs, your CV is the first insight your prospective employer gains into your character and qualifications. As well as making sure it is well written, contains your contact information, and stays concise, you must include three key elements.
Many jobs require experience these days, so you need to include your career history. Don’t worry about how relevant it seems. It is possible to mould most experiences so they reflect on how you can operate in your next working environment.
Here you can also include any details of voluntary work, as well as temporary positions. If you are writing a CV for the first time and do not have any experience, voluntary work is a great place to start. Employers ultimately love to see something rather than nothing, so consider your options.
Online volunteering is available to those who cannot get full-time positions, or you may want to consider freelancing. When writing your career history, start with your most recent job first and work backwards.
If you have any gaps in your employment, explain them at the end. Having a lot of career history is good, but you should forgo including anything too irrelevant. For example, the three weeks you spent washing pots at your local pub when you were 14.
Include your qualifications, starting from your highest attainment to your most basic achievements. For example, this could begin with a postgraduate degree and end at your GCSEs. Don’t have any qualifications?
Try not to panic, it’s hardly the end of the world. However, you do need to begin working towards achieving some.
It is possible to take free skills courses online via Vision2Learn, Barclays, Alison, and even the BBC. You may also find that your local college offers courses, with funding.
Qualifications and career experience tell employers what you have done. They don’t, however, tell them how you are suitable for the job you want them to hire you for. This is where your personal profile comes in. It can include your personal achievements, such as awards you have achieved and publications that have printed your work. It can also include how your skills are well matched to the job.
Don’t worry if you do not have anything ‘official’ for this space; you can tailor your not-so-obvious skills easily. For example, communication, being able to lead, liaising with individuals from all backgrounds, IT…all of these skills don’t have to come with qualifications.
Finally, include something about your character and hobbies. Writing a CV is a careful process. As well as including the above sections, make sure you check it for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. With the right approach, you can make sure your CV impresses your future employer and lands you that job.