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How to write your CV: The Basics

Andrea Phillips May 30, 2017 0

Whether you’re fresh out of school or you’ve be climbing the career ladder for years; writing your CV can be one of the most frustrating parts of a job application. In a sea of applicants, it’s important your resume stands out from the crowd, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of writing yours, you’re not alone.

There’s no ‘secret formula’ to crafting a successful CV, but making sure that yours is properly formatted and does a good job of demonstrating your skills should give you the competitive advantage you need to secure an interview.

Follow these simple steps and you should have a winning resume in no time:

Keep it Simple

How your CV is presented is almost as important as your credentials, so you should strive to keep yours as streamlined as possible. Your CV should be no longer than two A4 pages. Recruiters will likely have a lot of applications to get through and you don’t want to risk losing their interest with a drawn out resume.

Tailor it to the Job

Every time you send your CV out to a potential employer you should tailor it to the role you are applying for. This is the easiest way to give yourself the edge over your competition. Instead of submitting several carbon-copy resumes to every job, try to use relevant examples and skills to demonstrate why you are the best person for that specific job role.

If you don’t have time to alter each bullet point in your CV, then you should always endeavor to personalize your resume through your personal statement (see below).

Get Things in Order

Writing a fantastic CV is far simpler once you break it down into its essential parts:

  • Contact details
  • Personal statement
  • Employment History & Experience
  • Education
  • Achievements & Extra-Curricular Activities
  • References

Contact Details

At the very top of your CV you should include your full name, physical address, email address and your telephone number. This is how your potential employer will get in touch with you if your application is successful, so make sure this information is current. You do not need to include your date of birth or a photo of yourself, though if you have a Linkedin profile or an online portfolio, this might be a good place to include that information too.

Personal Statement 

As well as your contact information, the beginning of your CV should include a concise personal statement that highlights your key attributes and/or reasons for applying to the job. Select a few relevant skills and achievements that demonstrate to your potential employer why you are good fit for that particular role. You should aim to keep this short and sweet – around 100 words would be perfect.

Employment History

In this section you’ll want to outline your previous jobs, work experience and/or any apprenticeships you have undertaken. These should be listed in reverse chronological order (most recent first) and should state what your job title or position was, the dates for which you worked there and your basic responsibilities. Bullet points are a good way to present this information, as they break up the text and are easy-to-read. You may also want to include a couple of points about your key achievements within these roles.

Office Administrator at ‘Name of Company’

(January 2011 – March 2013)


  • Answering telephones & responding to emails
  • Keeping all records up-to-date


Use this section to tell your employer about your formal qualifications. Here you’ll list everything from GCSE’s to NVQs and University Degrees. Once again, you’ll want to list them in reverse chronological order and you should include the name of the institutions, the dates you were there, and the grades you achieved.

Name of Institution

(September 2006 – July 2008)


  • Business, Environmental Sciences, Maths
  • Achieved grades A-C


In this section give examples of any foreign languages you may speak or any software packages you are confident using (Word, Excel, etc). This is your opportunity to demonstrate the skills that you possess outside of formal education so use it as an opportunity to shine. Employers are more likely to be impressed by the skills and experiences you have required outside of formal studies.

However, remember not to over exaggerate these points, as you may be asked to elaborate on them during your interview.


It’s standard practice to include professional references at the bottom of your CV, as these are one way that a potential employer can double check your credentials. Make sure you have two or more individuals who are happy to provide you with a professional reference but don’t worry about providing their names at this stage. It is perfectly acceptable to use the strapline ‘references upon request’.

Finishing Touches

Once you’ve fleshed out your CV using these basic guidelines, it’s time to check your facts and formatting before submitting your application.


Make sure you triple check your CV for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Don’t let avoidable errors ruin your chances of securing an interview. Even if spell check seems to think your resume looks ok, it’s a good idea to have someone that you trust to check over your CV as well.

Choose PDF

If you’re submitting a job application online (via email or through a job board such as Indeed), it’s always a good idea to save your resume using the .PDF file extension. This will allow potential employers to open and access your CV on any device and it will keep your format consistent.

Follow these simple guidelines and you should be able to put together a strong resume that will set you apart from the crowd. Remember, your CV is your first chance to make a strong impression, so it’s important to get it right from the outset. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family to get their feedback and once you’re happy that your resume is looking good have the confidence to submit your application!

Ready to submit your CV? Take a look at some of the roles we are currently recruiting for!

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7 simple ways to prepare for your job interview

Andrea Phillips April 16, 2017 0

It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous prior to a job interview. If you’re conscientious and you’re keen to land that new role, you’ll no doubt want to make sure that you make an incredible first impression. So, to help give you the best possible head start, we’ve put together a pre-interview checklist to enable you to put your best foot forward:

1.Research the company

If you’ve managed to secure yourself a job interview, chances are you’ve already done a fair amount of research into the company you’re applying to. However, when it comes to swatting up on your recruiter and the surrounding industry, you should never worry about being over-prepared.

Swat up on what the company’s website has to say about their business ethos and achievements. This sort of basic research will be invaluable when you’re asked about your motivation for joining the company or how well you’re likely to fit into the existing team. It’s also a good idea to do a quick google search of the industry per se. This will give you an idea of the company’s main competitors and industry challenges.

2. Think about the job description

As well as researching the company, try to do as much as you can to learn about specifics of the role you are applying for. By considering the job description and thinking about the tasks you are likely to be undertaking each day, it will be easier for you to understand how your own strengths align with the role.

3. Prepare your route ahead of time

Don’t risk arriving late to your interview. Instead, open google maps and note your route and timings ahead of the day. Find out exactly how to get to the location of your interview and even practice the journey if you think it will help.

4. Consider common interview questions

You can’t always predict the sort of questions you’ll face in your interview. However, more often than not, you’ll come across some of the following generic questions:
Tell us about yourself
What are your strengths/weaknesses?
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
With time on your side, think about how you might answer these questions. When you consider your answers in advance, you’re less likely to be caught off guard on the day and you will be more likely to sound confident during your interview.

5. Take care over your appearance

How you dress for your interview will go a long way toward making a good first impression. However, this does not always mean you have to splash out on a new suit.
As a rule of thumb, if you underdress you’ll give the impression that you’re not particularly serious about the role. However, in creative industries overdressing can be just as bad, as you may stand out as a bad fit for the company. The best solution to this dilemma is to wear something smart that fits you well and you feel confident in. When in doubt, consider what existing employees are wearing or call the HR department ahead of time.
Whatever you chose to wear, it’s important to remain smart and tidy. Brush your hair, avoid chewing gum and try to keep perfumes or aftershaves subtle.

6. Try to relax

While it’s easier said than done, if you try to relax ahead of your interview, you’ll find that you perform at much higher standard. You appear more confident when you’re relaxed and you’ll be able to think of more considerate answers to interview questions.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. If you’ve researched the company and the role ahead of time, you’ll be fine. Take deep breaths and remember that the interview won’t last forever. Soon you’ll be out the other side and you may have potentially secured yourself a brand new job (or at least a second interview).

7. On the day..

On the day of the interview make sure you eat a balanced meal, take your time to get ready, and leave the house with plenty of time to arrive at the building a couple of minutes early.
Try to remain as friendly and positive as possible throughout the experience, and make sure you’re polite to everyone you meet at the office (you never know who you may be working with in the future).
If you follow all of these steps, you should have nothing to worry about. Good luck!

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