Include these top five items in your CV to make a good first impression.

So, you’re looking for a job and want to know how to write a CV? Take a look at the top five things you should always include in your CV to ensure your job applications impress every employer.

Name, professional title, and contact details

The first thing to include in your CV is your name. Let’s clarify that only your first name and surname are required — no middle names, please. Then put your professional job title next to your name. These details act as the title of your CV. Therefore, the phrase “curriculum vitae” should not get a mention — ever.

Your contact details sit comfortably beside your name and professional title. At the very least, you should detail your phone number and email address. Once upon a time, it was customary to include your full address too. However, as most application forms require a home address, there’s little need to double up on this information. That said, if location is important to the role you’re applying for, you can list your town and county of residence.

Personal profile

The next section of your CV is your profile. While this section goes by many names in the recruitment industry, such as personal profile, professional profile, and personal statement, it has one main purpose.

Your profile needs to give the prospective employer a snappy overview of what you’re all about, covering your profession, what you can bring to the role, and your current career goals. It’s a short section – only about five lines – but it needs to showcase your relevance to the job and make an impact to convince employers that the rest of your CV is worth reading.

Employment history

Another key component to include in your CV is your employment history. This section details your positions of employment in reverse-chronological order — so your most recent role is at the beginning.

For each job, include your dates of employment, your job title, the company, a line about the role, and bullet points detailing your duties, skills, and achievements.

In theory, your most recent role should take up the most room because it’s the peak of your career so far and therefore showcases your best abilities. The older the job, the less detail it requires. If you have a role that’s older than 10 years, you may decide to remove it from your CV completely.

Education and qualifications

Like your employment history, your education and qualifications must be listed in reverse-chronological order. As a minimum, you need to include the name of your qualification, the institution of study or awarding body, the grade you obtained, and the dates you studied or achieved the qualification.

If you’re just starting your career, and your education is still a huge selling point on your CV, you can add bullet points explaining relevant modules, assignments, placements, and skills under each institution.

Little extras

CVs are quite flexible. While the sections listed above are the minimum requirement, you can add other sections to highlight your arsenal of skills. Try these on for size:

  • Hobbies and interests

  • Core competencies

  • Languages

  • Awards

  • Publications

  • IT skills

Click on the following link for more CV-writing advice.

Have you done your CV justice? Find out with a free CV critique.

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