How to create a good CV

Creating the right first impression is vital. A well structured CV will do this for you and getting it right is easy. To help guide you through the process we have created the following guide and we recommend that you follow the order below.

Personal Details

Full name, address and telephone numbers (daytime and evening).


Some discretion can be exercised as to how much detail to supply. Except at graduate entry level, it is normally sufficient to give only brief details of education from age 16 to 18, with more details of higher education and particularly of diplomas, certificates and degree, including the university attended and the class of degree. Lists of GCSEs or O levels should be avoided and A level details included only if they really add useful information.

Professional Qualifications

It may be worthwhile specifying not only the qualification and the awarding institution, but also how it was obtained.

Current or Last Employment

It is the most recent job history which is of primary interest to a prospective employer. It may therefore be helpful to highlight this in a section of its own and to give more details than for earlier jobs. If the job advertisement asks for salary information, give the current or final salary and also the job's salary range if this shows a higher grade maximum. Do not inflate salary details, although average bonuses or performance payments can be given. Remember that when the employer seeks references, the salary data may be checked.

Previous Employment History

Jobs should be listed with dates (any gap in chronology is likely to be questioned) but with a diminishing amount of information for the earlier job history. Do not waste space by detailing early and irrelevant jobs.

Training and Development

It is not advisable to give a long list of training courses attended, but some relevant training and development information may be helpful. Management training courses of a week or more should normally be listed, together with any training in relevant specialists skills.

Personal Interests/Activities

It is not essential to include this section. However, if there are aspects, which provide evidence of relevant knowledge, skills or personality then these are worth listing. Examples might include being a school governor, running a computer club or various forms of voluntary work, which demonstrate organisational and management skills. An unusual hobby can be worth mentioning, as it will give your CV an interesting feature that the reader remembers.

And finally, don't state your reasons for leaving explicitly. These matters are best discussed at interview. Avoid leaving career gaps unanswered.

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