Writing a good CV is essential !

Before you start: Five basic principles for a good CV

Concentrate on the essentials

  • Employers generally spend less than one minute reading a CV before deciding to reject it, or to shortlist it for detailed consideration. If you fail to make the right impact, you missed your chance.
  • If applying for an advertised vacancy, always ensure that you comply with any application process entirely.
  • The vacancy notice might specify: how to apply (CV, application form, online application), the length and/or format of the CV, whether a covering letter is required, etc.
  • Be brief: two A4 pages are usually more than enough, irrespective of your education or experience. Do not exceed three pages. If you hold a degree, include your secondary school qualifications only if relevant to the job in question.
  • Is your work experience limited? Describe your education and training first; highlight volunteering activities and placements or traineeships.

Be clear and concise

  • Use short sentences. Avoid clichés. Concentrate on the relevant aspects of your training and work experience.
  • Give specific examples. Quantify your achievements.
  • Update your CV as your experience develops. Don’t hesitate to remove old information if it does not add value for the position.
  • Always adapt your CV to suit the post you are applying for
  • Highlight your strengths according to the needs of the employer and focus on the skills that match the job.
  • Do not include work experience or training which is not relevant to the application.
  • Explain any breaks in your studies or career giving examples of any transferable skills you might have learned during your break.
  • Before sending your CV to an employer, check again that it corresponds to the required profile.
  • Do not artificially inflate your CV; if you do, you are likely to be found out at the interview.

Pay attention to the presentation of your CV

  • Present your skills and competences clearly and logically, so that your advantages stand out.
  • Put the most relevant information first.
  • Pay attention to spelling and punctuation.
  • Print your CV on white paper (unless you are asked to send it electronically).
  • Retain the suggested font and layout.

Check your CV once you have filled it in

  • Correct any spelling mistakes, and ensure the layout is clear and logical.
  • Have someone else re-read your CV so that you are sure the content is clear and easy to understand.
  • Do not forget to write a cover letter.