CV stands for curriculum vitae. It describes who you are, your qualifications and skills, and any experience you’ve had of work. Make sure the information is correct - you could get the sack for giving false information!
You probably did a CV at school – but is it still up to date? It’s a must, as it will tell an employer very quickly if you’re the person they are looking for. Use information from school files that record your achievements.
- Should be confined to Name; Address; Telephone/Mobile; e-mail address and driving licence if you have one.
- List your work record with the most recent job first
- A prospective employer will notice gaps in your employment history, so make sure that you have a good explanation
- Don’t worry if you haven't had a job - put down your school work experience
- Don’t forget any part-time jobs
- Put in voluntary work if you've done it regularly.
Skills and Qualifications
- A prospective employer wants to know about your skills and qualifications gained at school and college.
- If you have other skills and qualifications gained from voluntary work or leisure activities, put them in eg First Aid certificate (must be current ie within 3 years); Duke of Edinburgh Award; Chief Scout’s Diamond Award or Queen’s Scout Award; Junior Coach at Football Club etc.
- This can show where you want to get to, eg "I would like to gain experience in a hair salon and study part time to become a stylist."
- It could show what skills you have, eg "I am a good timekeeper; like to work in a team; am capable of using my initiative; adaptable" etc. Only use these phrases if they are true – you would soon be found out. You could give an example where this applies.
- Your CV should be printed in black, on white or off-white paper.
- Use a plain font: Arial, Tahoma, Verdana are all suitable.
- Do not use fancy borders, pictures or any enhancement.
- You should not use more than two pages (less if possible).
- It must not contain any spelling mistakes.
Always use a covering letter to say why you are applying for the job.
Here are a few CV templates. Take a look and see which you prefer.
This is for someone without formal qualifications
This one is for a school/college leaver with GCSE qualifications.
Try this one if you have had a few jobs already.
If you want to use one then:
- just type your own information in any of the grey boxes
- if using your own computer you can save a copy
- print two copies: one to send out and one for your records
You can use the library in your Connexions Centre too as it has information for you to read or take away.