Top 5 tips on writing your first CV

Posted on 16th December 2019

With 2019 coming to an end you may be thinking about the New Year and what you’d like to change. Many of us want to have a more productive year, more successful and in general, have better health. 

You may be thinking of having a productive year by doing more reading, attending more activities or start working. If finding a job is on your agenda however you don’t have a CV or would like to improve your existing one, we’ve got together 5 top tips.

Tip 1: Think about the sort of role you want to apply to and write your CV accordingly. This is one of the most important factors to consider when working on your CV as if it doesn’t apply to the job role you’re interested in then you most likely won’t get shortlisted. 

The best way to go about it is to look at job descriptions and write your CV accordingly. This, of course, doesn’t mean you should add a skill just because it’s on the job description, however, adding experience or interest in relation to the job role will increase your employability.

Tip 2: Your education, skills and previous experience should be clear. Don’t worry if you’re applying for your first job, the best way to go about this is to write about any volunteering work or extracurricular activities you’ve done. The important part is that you express your role within the team and the skills and experience you gained. 

Tip 3: The part I personally struggle with the most is the summary. To write about yourself in a short paragraph without making it too generic. My suggestions on this would be to write about yourself in terms of your career, your interest and ambition and how this will help you progress. 

If you find that your paragraph is too long that’s fine, it’s easier to make it shorter once you have your first draft than to force yourself to think of ways of summarising it.

Tip 4: Look for templates online and try to keep it to one page, especially if you’re at the start of your career. When looking for a CV template make sure you go for a clear structure which is easy to read and understand. The last thing recruiters want to is to struggle to read through it, especially if its a competitive role.

Tip 5: Ask for friends, family and careers help at University to have a look at it. Having someone else look at your work (CV in this case) is useful as they can spot the errors that may sometimes miss you. 

If you aren’t comfortable with showing your CV to friends and family then I would highly suggest going to your career service at University. These are the people who will be able to give you the best possible advice on your CV and jobs you applied to- also in most cases its free!