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CV Advice

CVs that succeed

Take your time to prepare a good CV. This needs to be clear, concise and sell your skills and potential as well as possible. An employer will be given many CVs, you will want yours to stand out and secure yourself an interview. We have put together some suggestions that may help you to write your CV:

Contact Details
Include your name, address, email and telephone number. Only give your work email/telephone number if you can be contacted there.

Personal statement
This is optional but as this is the first impression you will give, you must get it right; it is possible to do more harm than good. Apply your personal statement to the position you are interested in and check that all key points you make are backed up by information in your CV. Avoid being too clichéd and keep it short and punchy.

Education and Professional Qualifications
Put the most recent first, giving less detail as they become less recent or important. Give full and abbreviated titles and state if incomplete or ongoing.

Employment History
You may choose to put this above your education if your experience is more recent and relevant than your qualifications. Again put the most recent first, giving less detail as they become less recent or important. List your duties and responsibilities clearly highlighting how these have benefited your experience. Give quantified examples wherever possible, eg "I increased donations by 60%".

Summarise your knowledge and experience in a concise and engaging fashion. Your aim is to entice the employer to find out more about you at an interview. Be confident in how you express yourself, however be careful not to exaggerate. Include names of specialist and generalist software you are experienced in. Do not leave any unexplained gaps. Be honest.

Additional Information
Give information of languages, IT skills etc, you have knowledge of and your level of proficiency. Details of your hobbies and interests can be stated here and can be a reflection on your personality.

It is adequate to write “references available on request”. It is courteous to ask permission from your referees before they are contacted by an organisation and obtain recent references where possible.

There are many different formats given to base your CV on. The one rule you must follow is to make sure your CV is clear, uncluttered and professional. Avoid writing large paragraphs. Use bullet points, bold and underlining to emphasise important information. Avoid using unusual fonts and colours.

Proof Reading
It is vital your CV contains no mistakes. Use a spell check on your computer and ask someone else to read through your CV.