City : CV Hothouse : What Makes a Good CV?

CV Hothouse

How to write a good CV...

It's important to catch the employers eye with a well written CV - but how do you write a good CV?

This floor will take you through some top tips for writing each section of your CV - So grab a pen and paper or open up a new word document, and get ready to write the best CV you've ever written...

  • Before you start writing


    Before you start writing there are a few things to consider...

    • Your CV needs to be no longer than 2 sides of A4,
    • It is a record of your skills, experiences, and qualifications,
    • It's important to tell the truth in every section - if it's not true, you won't be able to talk about it at an interview,
    • Make sure you know your contact details - You'll need your full name, address, phone number, and email address, - these go at the top of your CV,
    • Make a list of all the education, training, employment and experience you have ever done and the dates you did them - then when you come to write, you just have to put them all in order,
    • If you're ready to apply for a certain role, check the job description for any specific skills they require and emphasise these in your CV!

    Remember: Once you've started writing, this is just a first draft and can be edited and changed at any time if you think of something else to add!

  • Personal statement


    The Personal Statement (sometimes called a 'Profile') is the first section of your CV and sits underneath your contact details.

    It should be 3 to 4 sentences long but no longer - think of it like a very short introduction to who you are as a person and what kind of career you are looking for.

    Make sure you include:

    • One sentence on where you are now - have you just finished school or college? are you changing career or moving up the ladder?
    • One sentence about what kind of job and career you are looking for. 
    • What are your motivations - why do you want to do what you want to do?
    • What key skills do you have that would be useful for the role - For example if the role requires good communication, mention how good you are at effectively showing empathy.

    Make sure this is written in full sentences, uses good spelling and grammar, and flows nicely!

    To really catch the employers interest, you can tailor your personal statement to each application, as it explains why you suit the job your applying for.

  • Employment history and work experience


    Details of your employment history and work experience usually come first underneath your personal statement.

    cv.gifIf you've never been employed and don't have much to put here you can put you're education history first! It's likely that you'll have had some work experience through school in years 10 to 13, so if you've never been employed before pop that in this section.

    cv.gifFor this section you need to list your current, or most recent, job first and then work backwards. You'll need to write down your employer's company name,  the dates of when you worked for them (e.g. June 2017 - October 2018), your job title, and the main tasks that you undertook.

    cv.gifWhen writing down your main tasks, use a bullet point list and make sure it isn't too long. Also make sure to avoid negative or 'unsure' words such as 'couldn't', 'might', or 'didn't'.

    For more advice on the details of this CV section check out the National Careers Service website!

  • Education history


    In this section you want to follow the format of the last section but for your previous education - starting with the most recent going backwards.

    cv.gifHere you want to list all of your qualifications; everyone has a different level of qualification so pop down the most recent first and go from there.

    cv.gifOur Top Tip here is to BE HONEST about the grades you achieved. You may have to prove your qualifications by sharing your certificates so if you lie it will be found out!

    cv.gifAs long as you have the qualifications the role requires, some lower grades may not be an issue - however, if they are discussed at an interview you need to find a way to talk about them that's not just 'I couldn't do it'.  Talk instead about how you can improve on these skills, and think about how some more difficult subjects have taught you resiliance!

    For more advice on the details of this CV section check out the National Careers Service website!

  • Interests, achievements, and other skills


    In this section you have a chance to include any interests, hobbies, or additional achievements that are relevant to the job!

    cv.gifIf you're involved in any sports clubs, are into fitness, have been involved in a volunteering project, or can play a musical instrument, that can show that you have determination to complete tasks outside of basic skills.

    cv.gifOr, if you're part of a club or a scout leader this can demonstrate leadership skills and that you're good at working with people.

    cv.gifIf you've never been employed before, this section can help you to show the employer what transferrable skills you have from other things that you've been involved in! 

    For more advice on the details of this CV section check out the National Careers Service website! You can also check out their Skills Health Check to see what skills you can talk about.

       information.gif You can also contact us to get some advice on how to show your skills through your experiences - drop us an email at or give us a call on 01344 352777.

  • Once you've written it


    Now you've written a first draft of your CV it's time to check it, check it and check it again... then get someone else to check it as well. 

    There should not be a single mistake in what you write or a typo, so many sure to read it through plenty of times to eliminate any errors!

    Once you think you have a good CV down, go to the Progress Tracker floor and use our CV checklist. The checklist contains all elements that you should complete - make sure you can check off every point!

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