How to write a good CV
A rewarding career is just a few steps away once you’ve found the perfect role for you. We asked those responsible for sifting through your CVs, our Human Resources function, for guidance on how to make sure yours stands out.
All DE&S vacancies are filled following a CV interview, therefore in order to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed in our recruitment process, it is important that you submit a good quality CV. This is the first chance to sell yourself to us and generate our interest in you.
Many people posses a CV which is often generic but we strongly recommend that you tailor your CV to the advertised role, making sure that it highlights your relevant and/or transferable skills.
An effective CV will convince us that you:
- are competent, skilled and talented
- have the ability to succeed
- can demonstrate achievements and accomplishments
- are motivated to deliver and committed to continuous improvement
- have problem solving skills and are innovative
- are a good team player
Once you have submitted your application, we will review your CV to see if your qualifications and experience are a good match for the advertised role.
It’s important to take note of the comments and suggestions we’ve made below to give yourself the best chance of being successful during our ‘sift process’.
The particular elements within the CV that we focus on during the sift process are:
This is your introduction to us and you should use this area to summarise your main skills and qualities to create a positive impression.
An achievement should be something that’s quantifiable. What have you accomplished and how did you approach it? This is the opportunity to showcase your successes, how you exceeded targets or went above and beyond what is expected of you. What was challenging and significant? Between three and five examples are best practise.
List your job experience (starting with your present job and working back in time) to include:
- job title
- employer dates of employment
It is particularly important to provide some detail of the activities you undertook for each role, so that we understand the level of responsibility you held (particularly if its relevant to the advertised role). Briefly explain any career gaps.
Applied skills, knowledge and experience
This is your opportunity to really promote the skills and knowledge you gained in one role or activity and applied in others you’ve held. If you have unique skills which will help you stand out from other candidates, please include them. There needs to be enough information in this section to help us understand if your skills and experience are relevant and transferable.
List your professional memberships and academic qualifications, ensuring you have included ones relevant to the advertised role.
In addition to the essential areas required, your CV should also include the following:
Do you have interests that carry responsibility in your personal life that highlights leadership, organisational and communications skills? Perhaps you’re a school governor, a scout or guide leader? There are many activities you could list here but this is an opportunity to make a final positive impact on us.
Top tips for writing a great CV
- Keep it simple. A good CV should be no longer than 2-3 pages of A4 with information being well laid out, as presentation is very important.
- Understand the advert and tailor your CV accordingly.
- Ensure it is easy to pick out the key information using active language that is clear and direct.
- Use assertive, positive language such as “developed’, “organised” or “achieved”.
- Most importantly, proof read your CV. It should not contain spelling mistakes, punctuation and grammatical errors. First impressions count so the CV should look professional. Share your CV with your friends, colleagues and family, as their feedback may improve your CV.