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Every CV Needs...
1 simple font at size 10-11
Your full name
Address and contact details
Skills & Tools
Education & Training History
Interests & Hobbies
1 - Personal Profile Section
We recommend writing this as if you were telling your parents or your headteacher where you are in your professional career. A synopsis of your qualifications, achievements, core skills/strengths and ambitions. This could include your industry sectors, customer verticals, sales deals, where you’ve been published and more. Whatever it is, make sure it’s relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.
4 - Education & Training Section
Again chronological, most recent first… especially if you’ve had recent industry training or certifications. This demonstrates clearly that you’re still learning, keeping up to date and pursuing personal development. Bold the qualifications you obtain, not where you studied or the institutions. The lengthier your career the less detail you need to provide about your education i.e. if you’ve had 20 years in the industry, please don’t list out each and every O level you took. BUT of the flip side, if you’re a relatively new entrant to the industry, list your education, all of it! Your 10 A* GCSEs are really interesting, especially if you didn’t go to university. Or, if you did go to uni, mention it in your personal profile, so the expectation from the offset is positive!
Formatting tip: Qualification, Grade Institution (Date awarded) So, each of your qualifications should look like this:
-SEO Training Course, Pass brightonSEO (2020)
-BA (Hons) Media Studies, 1st Class Degree Portsmouth University (2016)
-9 GCSEs incl. Maths, English & Science, A-C London School (1999)
2 - Skills & Tools Section
Bullet-point your core skills. Next, add the tools you are accustomed to using in your job. This is an excellent way of showing a decision-maker how deep your experience goes.
-Fluent in Spanish
-Google Search Console
5 - Interests & Hobbies Section
Here is your opportunity to show us who you are on a personal basis. If you can make it relevant to your career, great but actually it’s also interesting just to find out a little about you. Employers are hiring individuals not just bums on seats! For instance, I will always remember one professional who collected Dolls Houses. She was great, we found her an awesome job and I will always remember her because of her unusual dollhouse collection!
3 - Professional Experience Section
This is a chronological listing of all the work you’ve undertaken. Identify the employer, the dates and the job titles you’ve held. We want the most recent first otherwise I’ll get bored wading through your early newspaper rounds and 6 weeks work experience at the local nursery. Hit us with your most recent work. Hopefully, it’ll be really relevant for the job your applying to and I’ll be hungry to read more! If you’ve been promoted within one company, separate these out with dates. It’s a good thing to showcase to a potential employer. You then want to briefly outline your responsibilities and list your achievements. These can include: budgets, client wins, industry verticals, where content has been published or reporting on KPIs, CTR, ROI, audience reach, engagement, conversions, ranking and campaign traffic.
Formatting should look like this:
Start Date - End Date Employer, Location
Include a brief outline of each job role here.
Jan 2015 - Aug 2018 Googler, London
Senior SEO Manager
Include a brief outline of each job role here.
So you've written a CV... now what?
Save the document as: Your Full Name - CV
Save it as a PDF to 'fix' all formatting
Proof read your CV and proof read again!
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Why do I need a CV?
Ultimately, you need a CV to showcase your skills and experience. To show the reader what you can do, what you’ve learned, what skills you have, what tools you can use and of course what you can achieve if given the opportunity. You need a great CV to differentiate yourself from everyone else’s application. Job seeking and career progression are competitive and a good job is hard to get. You need to be ready from the get-go.
What is a CV?
The definition of Curriculum Vitae according to Wikipedia is a summary of academic and professional history and achievements. According to the Oxford dictionary, it’s a noun. A brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous occupations, typically sent with a job application.
When will I need a CV?
It’s highly likely you will need an up to date and accurate CV when applying for any job. You’ll either be asked to complete an online application (on which, you can cut and paste many elements from your CV). Or, you will be asked to submit a CV and cover letter. You may need a CV for an internal promotion, for HR/line management to ensure you have obtained the level of experience they require for the role you will be undertaking. Run your own business? You may need your CV for your insurance provider or investors.
Common CV Mistakes
Not written in chronological order
Having inaccurate information or lies featured
Titling it as ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’, we know it’s your CV, don’t label it
Using an inappropriate email address
Always account for the gaps between employment
Too much focus on design instead of content
An inconsistent tone of voice