With lots of information out there about how to format a CV it’s hard to know what to include and what not to. We compiled the best bits and included information based on our own experiences within the Build environment, to offer you advice on how to help your CV stand out.
Firstly, always format your CV so it’s easy to read; overcomplicating it can lead to employers putting it down.
Here are some basic tips to think about:
- Use fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, or widely accepted fonts.
- Try to format your CV to two pages, with three being the absolute maximum.
- Use bullet points to highlight key aspects and avoid long paragraphs.
- Don’t include your date of birth, sex, or marital status.
Your CV should be clear, nicely formatted and easy for employers to read and understand.
Here is a recommended structure based on our advice:
- Put your name at the top of the page, followed by your contact details, so it is the first thing potential employers see.
- Make sure that you put your correct mobile number and only put an email address if you have access to it and check it regularly.
- Use a professional email address, using a nickname or anything related to it can make you look unprofessional.
Personal Profile tailored to each role
- Include a short bio, that introduces yourself to the employer with the type of role you are looking for and what your aims are.
- You could also include your relevant skills and your most recent job role.
- Your core skills should be tailored to each job description and person specification. Look at the core skills in each section and detail how you would demonstrate these.
- Back up your skills with evidence: e.g., “Negotiated cost-savings of £30,000 through the creation of a PSL.”
- List these in reverse- chronological order with the most recent/relevant first.
- Include dates of employment, employer’s name and job title.
- Only include jobs that are relevant to the role, provided you have experience in that industry.
- Only list what is relevant- i.e., your degree or chartership. Do you need to add your GCSEs to this CV? Do they relate to the role you’re applying for?
- Much like your work history, list your education in reverse-chronological order with the most recent/relevant first.
Hobbies and Interests
- Keep this section concise, don’t go into too much detail but keep some personality in the CV
- If possible, can you match some of your interests to the company’s culture? E.g., “I play football every week and would be interested in joining the company’s team.”
Double-check your CV
- Always check your CV carefully- always run a spell check over it and re-read it to check it also makes sense.
- Give the description of the role that you are applying for to a friend or family member, and ask them to review your CV. Response handling agencies will often not be technical experts – this will be a good way to see how easily your CV can be matched to the job description
Remember: your CV is the first impression a potential employer will have of you. Take the time to get it right. You may not have a second chance.