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How to write your first CV

Writing a CV can be quite daunting if you don’t know what to include. You want to make sure your job search is as effective as possible and the best way to set yourself up for success is a strong CV. Below are some tips and key things to include and how to write your first CV to impress every employer!  

A clear and structural way to plan out a CV.

The CV Essentials :

It may seem obvious for some, but below is a list of a few essential things you should always include in a CV and reasons why.

Key things to include:

  • Full name
  • Your address - this allows companies to see where about you're based to factor in things such as the length of commute you’d have to make to work would be.
  • Contact details - A phone number and email address. This way employers can contact you if they feel you’d be well suited to a role.
  • Education - List the institution, what subjects you studied and the grades you obtained. Then the employer can see how your knowledge may fit to the role. You may also want to include any projects or modules that’re relevant to the job and how they would make you best suited for the role.
  • Work experience – Even if it’s just a part time job from when you were younger, listing work experience on your CV is a great way to demonstrate your key skills to employers. Not only does it show that you’re hireable, it also gives them an insight into what work environments you’ve been in. Depending on how long.
  • Key skills – On top of your academic achievements it’s good to include other things such as what skills you feel you’re best in and how they’d make you the best fit for the particular role you’re applying for. This gives the employer a bit more of an insight into what you do best. Below is a visual of the top 5 skills employers look for on CV’s.
An image identifying they skills an employer looks for in a CV.

Optional information to include in your CV:

Unlike the information listed above, there are also other things you can add to stop your CV sounding the same as everyone else’s.

  • Personal statement – You’ll probably remember the dreaded personal statement you had to write to apply to uni. The hours upon hours in sixth form dedicated to perfecting your personal statement will come in handy as you’ll be able to tweak this towards the type of job you’re applying for. This is great to add into your CV as it gives the employer a real feel for the type of person you are and gives them an understanding of what made you apply for the job in the first place!
  • References – You can add in references so employers know what other people who’ve worked alongside you think about you as an individual. This allows them to vouch for the skills you’ve listed on your CV as well as your character and performance. You can use both academic and / or an employment references from employers or teachers etc. This is another way to set yourself apart from other candidates. People you can use as a reference contact for your CV include: A current or previous employer, tutors or teachers from school / university lecturers, colleagues, sports coaches etc.

Sell yourself!

While this may sound obvious and you may not enjoy boasting about all your achievements and reasons why you’d be great for the job, it’s a key thing to have in mind while writing your CV. It’s extremely unlikely you’ll be the only person applying for the role so make sure to set yourself out from the rest and really let the employers know exactly why they should be hiring you!

What goes where?

Once you know what information to include the next challenge is knowing what layout to use and how to prioritise which parts will get seen first by hiring managers. Things like having colours and text in bold are simple ways to draw the eye to key pieces of information that you really don’t want to be missed by an employer. When deciding what to write about first and which bits to leave till last, go back to the idea of selling yourself and make sure you don’t save all the best bits till last! Sometimes employers will just skim over a CV so you want to make sure it looks eye catching with all your key skills and qualifications easy to be read.

Types of Structures:

Chronological - This structure involves you writing about your experiences and qualifications in the order that they happened. This is a great way for employers to be able to see your journey and career progression.

Functional / Skill based - This structure will allow you to draw the employers attention to your skills as oppose to your experience or education. This structure is usually favored for people writing their first CV as they often have less work experience so would rather draw attention to their personality and skills.

Reverse chronological - This is usually the most common style of CV, it follows the structure of writing about the most recent achievements and qualifications that you've obtained then going back into the first role you had etc. This type of CV is great to ensure employers see your main achievements first.

Hybrid - This is a more creative and expressive way of structuring your CV as it involves you combining skills and chronological CV structures. This can give you a lot more freedom to order whichever pieces of information you feel are most important for an employer to read about you first.

Below is a visual showing the different types of structures you can use to set out your CV.

4 steps on how you can plan out a CV.

If you’re still unsure how to write your CV, take a look at our CV Builder. We have a CV Builder on our website which allows you to generate your own CV template in just a few simple steps. Klickstarters are always here to help you with your job search for tech roles, if you have any questions please contact a member of our team on [email protected] or alternatively call 01244 739 999.

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