If you’re applying for a job, having a good CV is essential.
A CV (curriculum vitae) is a document that contains information about your personal and professional skills and qualities, in order to appeal to an employer, proving yourself to be the right candidate they are looking for to fit a role.
An employer will use your CV to determine whether you would be suitable for an interview, but, they don’t spend a lot of time analysing everything you have written – the average amount of time spent looking at a CV is 5-7 seconds, so you need to ensure that you stand out and are concise.
- Contact information
- Personal profile
- Key skills
Let’s look at these in more detail.
You should include your full name, address, phone number(s) and an email address – your email address should look professional, as most employers are put off by an email address that doesn’t look great.
You don’t need to put a photo, or a date of birth; as neither of these should affect your application, due to equality and diversity issues: many employers have even been known to turn down an application because of this.
This is what opens your CV, and will provide the reader with the first impression of yourself as a professional.
This shouldn’t be too long, but should contain enough information to make the reader want to carry on reading.
It’s helpful to split it into three sections: yourself – this allows quick identification of past experience.
Your skills and attributes – this can be tailored to each job you are applying for.
Your career aim – no company wants to hire someone who only plans on working there for the short term, you need to show that you want to progress, and give some information on where you would like to head in your career path.
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You would have put these very briefly in your personal profile, but this is where you have a real chance to state what you are capable of.
These could be both in a personal or professional manner.
Personal, for example could be: friendly, approachable, good communicator.
Professional examples include: good with numbers, organised – you could provide examples of software and systems you have used; maybe on computers.
These can all be tailored to each job you are applying to, to show yourself as a viable candidate.
Start with the most relevant, or recent first.
You should state the name of the institution, the time period you studied, what qualification you studied, and the grade you achieved.
As you are applying for an apprenticeship, this may be your first job role; therefore you may be drawing a blank on how to complete this section.
You could include volunteer work, any work experience you completed at school or college, even small jobs you used to do for family or neighbours, such as babysitting.
You should include the job title and time in employment (if necessary), and your main roles and responsibilities – again this can be tailored to suit the role you are applying for; thinking of experiences in each role you have already completed that may also be required (or something similar) in the job advertised.
This just allows the employer to see your more personal side, and what you enjoy spending your free time doing.
It is great to include hobbies that include valuable skills; for example, talking about sports you enjoy playing could demonstrate leadership and teamwork. Hobbies that include hitting targets, or beating previous scores (athletics, for example), are a great way to show your interest in progression.
Many people put the same kind of hobbies: spending time with family and friends, going to the cinema, reading etc, so try and think out of the box and be creative – this is a great area that you can stand out in.
If you follow these tips, and pieces of advice, you should find yourself with a CV that will attract a potential employer, and hopefully find you your ideal apprenticeship role!
The most important piece of advice to remember is to stick to the facts; don’t lie, keep relevant, don’t go too much into detail – stay concise, and try to keep the whole document to two sides of A4 or less: no employer wants to have to sit and read through your CV for too long.