How To Write A CV

How To Write A CV

The art of good CV writing is about information structure to communicate to most effectively to the reader. Simply, how do you put the candidates details down on 2 sheets of paper to match the job advert?

There are two parts to answering the CV writing question:

  • Sections
  • Word structure

This article covers the first part of the answer, the basic sections and their arrangement. You will find links to articles on each key issue in structure below.

The art of word structure is more complex, and covered in multiple articles. There are links to them where relevant, but this article shows the best strategy and thoughts of most recruiters/HR professionals when reviewing applicant CV’s when reviewing for a job post.

While reading this series of articles, please always make sure that you also read our essential article on CV Security

Introduction to CV Writing

There are two basic forms of CV format:

  • Functional or Skills based – which focuses on your skills
  • Chronological – which focuses on your work history, in reverse chronological order

A skills based CV is useful for those who are either new to the work market, or are changing sectors/skill bases. The chronological CV focuses on where you worked and what you did.

Most modern CV’s are effectively a mix of the two, mainly focusing on chronology while inserting the skills and their application through word structure. It is that modern form of the most widely used CV format that this series concentrates on.

CV Writing – gathering the evidence:

There are two ways to gather evidence for inclusion in your CV:

In reality, to create a full CV you will need to deploy both methods.

Modern CV Structure

Your CV should be organised into separate sections. This makes it easier for employers to find the relevant information quickly and easily. Sections you should include cover:

Depending on what the job advert asks for, consider including some optional sections – eg “Positions of responsibility”, “Achievements” and/ or “Interests.”

We complete this guide with a CV Writing Checklist

Good Luck!

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