How to Structure your CV
The Ultimate 6 Step CV Guide
Potential employers need to be able to see at a glance why you are the best person for the job.
Create your CV using the following 1-6 sections:
Your personal and contact details must include name, address, phone numbers and email. It is not necessary to include age or marital status.
Personal Profile / Career Objectives
A brief introductory paragraph to highlight your suitability to the position you are applying for and where your previous experience matches the current requirements.
Top CV Tip! Try to avoid common clichés such as team player, dependable, committed etc.
Education & Professional Qualifications
List the most recent first, including graduation dates and institute names. It is also a good idea to state the level of your qualifications (e.g. Honours or Level 8) as many multinational organisations have minimum qualification requirements for certain roles. Also remember to include professional memberships or other relevant training.
Work History and Achievements
Outline in detail your work history to date, beginning with the most recent. Use a bold font to highlight the company name, the position you held and the dates of your employment. Use bullet points to describe responsibilities and achievements.
Remember to include start and finish dates (e.g. March 2007 – December 2011) for each job and explain any ‘gaps’ in employment, for example ‘return to full-time education’ or ‘travelling’.
List, in bullet point format, any additional skills or achievements that are relevant for your career. For example, computer systems or technical skills you are proficient in, fluency in other languages, significant work achievements, or soft skills (e.g. organisational skills, communication skills, problem solving).
Top CV Tip! Busy interviewers love bullet points as they keep your points neat and concise.
*Note: Always lead with your strongest section – if your education is stronger than your career history, put this in first, and vice versa, if your career history is stronger, lead with this.
Hobbies and Interests
Outline what you like to do in your spare time – many organisations like to see a healthy work-life balance and often your leisure interests can say a lot about the type of person you are. They may also reflect qualities relevant to the role you are applying for.
If you wish, you can provide contact details of your referees, but it is perfectly acceptable to state ‘available on request’. If you are listing referees, make sure that they are relevant to the sector you are applying to, and that they are happy to provide a reference for you. Also make sure that contact details are up-to-date.