How to write a successful CV before applying for a job

Overall, a CV should be neat and typed if possible.

It should also be short, usually no more than two sides of A4. It should be positive, stressing achievements and strengths, and make a good impression in a clear and positive way.

The basic format for a CV includes:

  • Personal details, including name, address, phone number, email address and possibly any professional social media presence. You no longer need to include your date of birth, owing to age discrimination rules
  • Career history, starting with your most recent job first. Include dates and temporary or voluntary jobs if appropriate
  • A personal profile which sells yourself and your qualities, tailored towards the job you are applying for
  • Achievements from previous jobs that are relevant
  • Qualifications and training from previous jobs, with the most recent first
  • Interests, if they are relevant and especially if the skills or teamwork concerned are relevant for the job
  • Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history, such as caring duties
  • References, ideally two or more and including a recent employer
 A straightforward font and formatting is required – and the spelling must be checked and checked again.
 People should check five or six adverts for a particular job and then use the common requirements to mould their CV.
“Many people think that one CV will fit all applications, but it needs to be a very targeted document for the role they are going for. Do some research so you understand what employers are looking for.”
 Help and examples
writing resumes and cover letters

Four steps to getting that job (BBC vedio)

  • How to prepare for the interview 

Sue Powell: “Preparation is key when it comes to job interviews”

  • How to deal with interview nerves

Neil Mullarkey: “Learn, look, listen and link”

  • What to wear

Sudarshan Singh: “You have to look professional”

  • How to perform well in the interview

Carly Stephens: “Let them know you want the job”

 How do you get a job in..?(Retail, Manufacturing,Visual effect, Engineering) (BBC)

  1. People looking for a job can start by searchinga database of jobs held by Jobcentre Plus.
  2. has advice on how to apply for jobs, including filling in an application form or writing a CV – which an adviser at your local Jobcentre Plus office can also help with.
  3. Skills Development Scotland has advice on finding a job, dealing with redundancy and links to Scotland-specific jobs sites.
  4. Next Steps, in England has advice including where to look for funding for courses to learn new skills.
  5. Careers Wales has bi-lingual advice on all these things, too, plus help for jobseekers under 19.
  6. People who find themselves unemployed for more than six months may be eligible for further help from the government. But this depends on your circumstances and where in the UK you live.
  7. Finally, the charity Credit Action has produced an excellent guide to facing up to redundancy. It advises you not to panic and to take time to assess what kind of work you would like to do.
  8. Organisations such as The Samaritans can offer help and advice if the emotional impact of being made redundant gets too much.

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