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Build your CV

There is no single "right" way to create and finalise a CV but here are some ideas to help you. Please take five minutes to read through this information before you start to write yours.

Always keep in mind that the person reading your CV is considering you as a potential employee against many other candidates so make sure you give yourself the best possible chance to stand out.

Top tips to ensure your CV sells you...

  • Make sure it's carefully and neatly set out in a logical order. 
  • It highlights your skills and experience.
  • It is targeted on the exact role or industry for which you are applying (you may need to change the personal profile depending on what job you are applying for). 
  • It is not too long, try to keep it to two pages maximum.
  • You have thoroughly spell-checked it.

We have created a template to help you build a CV you can be proud of. Once you have completed it, you can send it to one of our employment support team to check it. If you are struggling with writing it, then you can make an appointment to see our CV specialist.

Please call us on 01724 844848 for free help and advice.

Before you start using our template there are 10 points to consider so please have a read through these first:

  • 1. You might have already got it right

    Your CV is personal to you. If you already have a CV that is getting you interviews and you are happy with it then that’s great, leave it as it is. If not, then please make use of our template as your starting point and you're unlikely to go far wrong.

  • 2. Short and sweet

    Employers spend, on average about 10 seconds browsing through each CV so keep yours punchy and relevant, and reserve the detail for the interview.

  • 3. Looking good

    A well set-out CV is more likely to get an employers attention. Use bullet points to help organise your information, and keep sentences short.

  • 4. Sell the facts

    List all your education, qualifications and training, dated and in order, so they are easy to read. Do the same for your work history, highlight your skills and abilities and point out your achievements, backing them up with numbers where you can.

  • 5. Target it for each job

    Sending the exact same CV to every job will make it harder for you to stand out. Spend a little bit more time wording your personal profile or highlighting the specific requirements employer is asking for. Looking up the company on the internet will help to work out what particular skills you should mention to them.

  • 6. Tell the truth

    Blatant lies on your CV can get you in a heap of trouble when employers checking out your background, qualifications and references find out you weren’t truthful. In addition, if you get help from someone else to write your CV remember that you will be the one at the interview when you all of a sudden can't answer questions about things you said you could do. It's not worth the hassle - don't do it!

  • 7. Never leave gaps unexplained

    Leaving gaps on your CV because you have been out of work can be a concern to future employers, so try to turn it into something positive.

    • Did you do any training or volunteer work?
    • Did you use your time to keep fit or take up a hobby?
    • Were you at home caring for your children or family member?

    Remember, gaps might put an employer off giving you a chance. If you are an ex-offender give our Empower team a call. They will help to tell you how and what you need to disclose about your conviction.

  • 8. Correct your errors

    Check your spelling and grammar, ask someone to double-check what you have written then spell-check again!

  • 9. Keep it up-to-date

    Keep your CV current. Each time something new happens in your career, record it so you don't later forget something that could be worthwhile.

  • 10. Now you are ready to write your CV...
    1. Dig out all of your qualifications, training courses and certificates. 
    2. Think about every job, any volunteer work you have done and work out the start and end dates for each one.
    3. Put together a list of all the skills and experience you want to include in you CV.