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Firstly it is important to remember that a CV, no matter how good it is, will not get you a job. CVs will help get your foot in the door but it is down to you to open the door further.

A good CV is vitally important in order to make sure that whoever is reading it sits up and takes notice of what you have to say. CV’s need to be concise and clear, well presented and neat, accurate and detailed without being long-winded.

There is no right or wrong way to put together a CV but most CV’s are written in a way that presents the information in an easy to understand manner that follows logically from one thing to another. The most common format follows:

Contact/Personal Details

Include all relevant contact details including name, address, email address, home telephone, mobile telephone and fax number (if applicable) and relevant personal details such as date of birth, driving licence, criminal record, marital status, desired location etc.

Profile/Personal Statement (optional)

Some people include a profile and others don’t, it’s down to the individual and there is no right or wrong. A profile or statement should be short, concise and to the point and is sometimes best illustrated with punchy bullet points. It should not be half a page repeating what you are about to say in the bulk of the CV, more of a taster of what is to come. Try to make it relevant to the desired audience by highlighting desirable attributes, qualities and experience in order to catch their eye.

Education & Qualifications

Start with the most recent first. Give full details of name and place of study, type of qualification and grade whether completed, incomplete or ongoing. Feel free to reduce the detail as it become less relevant or recent. Also include relevant certificates and trade qualifications such as First Aid or Health and Safety and check that they are valid and in date.

Employment History

Start with the most recent first. Be sure to give the name of the company, accurate dates of employment and position or positions during this employment. Give enough relevant information to the reader in order to gain an accurate picture of what you were doing but dont waffle. Make sure you include your day to day duties, responsibilities, reporting structure, management experience and technical details where relevant. Focus on the benefits of your previous and current experience and be sure to emphasise key words in order to make your experience in certain roles stand out

Additional Information

It is often a good idea to show that you have other outside interests but keep hobbies and social activities to a minimum. Also list IT experience or other relevant information that does not fit in else where in your CV although this may also come under personal details, profile or qualifications.


Feel free to attach contact details of people who have agreed to act as professional references or “On request” if you would prefer to make these individuals available once an offer of employment is on the cards. It helps if these referees a) know you b) know you well and c) know you well enough to give you a good and fair reference.

Presentation of your CV

Consider who your CV is intended for, whether it is a Director of the company or an HR Manager may make a difference to the lay-out and content of your CV.

Be sure to present the CV in an easy to read and sensible font and format. The lay-out is important and the CV needs to be neat and easy to read. Clearly seperate different sections and information and space out the information so that it is easy to read and not cluttered. Feel free to use use bullet points, underlining, bold text, capitals and italics but dont overdo it, just enough to make the CV punchy. Try not seperate information over seperate pages and try to fit the information neatly into 2 or 3 pages, maybe 4 at the most if you have a long detailed career history.


It is vitally important to check your CV once you have completed it. Read it and re-read it checking for typing errors and spelling mistakes in order to be certain you are 100% happy with it before you send it to perspective employers. This CV represents you and your professional attitude and ability at work so it needs to be accurate