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What to Include in Your CV


What to Include in Your CV


No experience?

If you are a graduate that has perhaps completed an internship or has experience of working for a friend or family...include it in your CV! You can also talk about general experiences you have had like travel and challenges you faced that relate to skills needed for your profession. How did you overcome them and what lessons did you learn? Record all skills and work experiences you acquire so that you have a list of examples to use for applications and interviews.

Graduates often fail to relate their qualifications and skills in a way that is useful to the recruiter. For instance, you might mention dissertation writing and leave it at that. But if you say you have the skill to research and write lengthy documents that will make communications easier for the department, you’ll have a much better response and understanding from the employer.

If you are a parent with no work experience, here is what to do when writing a CV;

Whatever your reason for CV gaps, don’t shy away or try and hide them as employers are more understanding than ever before about long periods of unemployment, so be honest and explain your reasons upfront.

At the start of your CV, write a small paragraph explaining why you have those gaps. Keep positive by highlighting what skills and experience you’ve picked up during this time and emphasise why this could be relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Outline any transferable skills, achievements or previous responsibilities that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For finance jobs make sure you highlight your budgeting skills. Want to work in customer service? Emphasise your approachable and friendly manner and ability to deal with a demanding person.

Some things to avoid when writing a CV are;

Don’t send a generic CV. There should always be a few things to tweak in a CV such as your personal skills, profile and work experience descriptions. You want to make sure you are including every element of the job description you are applying is embedded somewhere in your CV.

Make sure you have spell checked the entire document as spelling mistakes create a bad first impression in the employers mind no matter how much experience you have.

Waffling on will only give the employer a reason to move on to the next CV. You don’t want to take up too much of their time just use key information which showcases your strengths.

Poor layout. A CV should be easy to read and navigate with all of your main sections in headlines and bolded. Try to steer clear of colours and unnecessary pictures unless applying for a design role.

Triple check that your contact details are correct. This could be the one thing that stops you from getting an interview and you will never know. If your email address is immature or unprofessional it’s time to get a new one.


What employers look for

This year, these are the main skills employers are looking for beyond qualifications and experience. Time management, adaptability, collaboration, persuasion and creativity are the soft skills everyone is talking about. Outlining why and how you have these skills could be the difference between getting the interview or not.

Don’t just use them in a listed format on your CV. Try to pair them with examples of when and how you have demonstrated each skill perhaps in your previous employment or within an education setting that will relate to the role you are applying for.

Some employers will look at GPA/School qualifications and take it into consideration and some won’t. It is up to you to decide whether you think it will aid you in getting an interview however be aware that if your school grades don’t represent what you are capable of accomplishing now then perhaps it is wise to leave them off unless asked for at a later time.

As a rule of thumb, only include your School qualifications if a. You are a few years out of school or b. You got above C grades and above in school or college.

How to make an attractive CV

An amazing CV to you may not be so amazing to someone else. In order to write an ‘amazing’ CV, use these failsafe tips;
To attract employers, try using keywords throughout your CV. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are becoming more popular these days, making it easier for employers to search through CVs based on keywords. Keywords are job description specific so be sure to include any keywords that stand out in the job you are applying for and add them to your own CV. For example, if you are applying for a customer service role you could include, ‘customer service’, ‘customer tracking system’, ‘computer skills’ and ‘order processing’.

You can make your CV more attractive by writing compelling content. Add some personality into your writing and try not to sound so robotic. Microsoft word’s templates are brilliant to use as a basis for your CV because everything in the template has been selected because they go well together. Comic Sans is not your friend if you want your CV to be attractive and professional. Stick to the standard Times New Roman or Calibri as they’re the cleanest and easiest to read.

Getting your personality across in your CV will make a huge difference to an employer as it will help you to stand out in a pile of CVs. Whilst you need to be professional, write how you would speak and then go back in to it and make it professional. A robotic CV will not only bore the employer but it will make you look boring!

Trying to make your CV look professional isn’t as hard as it may seem. A CV of just plain text is enough to give anyone a headache. Use bold text for headings and bullet points to highlight parts that don’t need a huge amount of explanation. This will not only make your CV look more professional but it will become easier to read and navigate as it’ll include less block text.

Get someone to check over it for you. Sometimes when you write something you can miss errors like spelling and punctuation if you’re read it too many times.

Your profile

The profile section in your CV must explain why you think you will be good for this specific job. It doesn’t need to be written in third person but is your first chance to show the employer why you’re the best person for the role by summing up your qualifications and experience of the job you are applying for.


The more professional experience you have on your CV, the less necessary to add hobbies. However, if you have just left education and have less experience, you should include recent hobbies of which show your strengths.

Contact Details

An address used to be essential before the internet came around however most recruitment these days are dealt with online. As a result, your full address is not always necessary. If you have privacy concerns or want to keep this information private, feel free to just include your postal code or the area you live in. If you are applying for a job which isn’t in the same city as you, think about adding a line like ‘relocating to ____ in January 2020’ so that your application isn't disregarded straight away.


If you require additional assistance with writing your CV, why not email us at referencing 'What should I include in my CV', call us on 02920 628808 or check out our Youtube channel at