If you are struggling with writing your CV, we will provide a great place to start.
There is no right or wrong way to set out a CV, but there are some standard sections that it should contain. These are:
- Personal and contact information
- Personal profile/statement (optional)
- Education and qualifications
- Professional experience
- Other working experiences / volunteering / hobbies
- Languages Skills
- Technical and computer skills
Which is the information that you need to provide in each section of the CV?
Section 1: Personal and contact information
Should contain your personal details, including:
- phone number,
- e-mail address; use a professional e-mail address (preferably name.surname@...)
- professional social media (e.g. LinkedIn) when providing social media credentials choose carefully what you want to share!
- date of birth*, a date of birth is no longer needed, owing to age discrimination rules (refer to your national practice whether to include your date of birth into a CV)
- photo is only essential for jobs such as acting and modelling, otherwise it is a matter of choice. Whether you should include a picture of yourself depends on the position you are applying for and the company offering it. If you will attach your photo, make sure you will look professional.
Section 2: Personal profile / statement
A personal profile / statement introduces you as an applicant. It takes a form of a paragraph that outlines your key strengths, achievements and goals. In just a few sentences, you describe:
Who you are, what do you have to offer and what your ambitions are.
|I am an energetic and enthusiastic person who enjoys a challenge and achieving personal goals. My present career aim is to work within IT because I enjoy working with computers, I enjoy the environment and I find the work interesting and satisfying. The opportunity to learn new skills and work with new technologies is particularly attractive to me.
Section 3: Education and qualifications
This is the section, where you show your academic accomplishments. Since your most recent school or academic programme is most relevant, start there and work your way back
In no more than three bullet points, you can list your most significant results such as your average grade, your most relevant courses and other achievements you think could be valuable for your CV.
|Education and Training
2009 – 2013 BSc Computer Science (Hons) Aston University
- 1st Class Degree with Professional Placement
2007 – 2009 BTEC National Diploma in IT Hall Green College
- Professional and Social Aspects of Computing (73%)
- Data Modelling and Database Systems (59%)
- Understanding Information Systems (93%)
2000 – 2007 Bournville Secondary School
- Grade Achieved: Triple Distinction*
Section 4: Professional experience
The work experience section should contain your:
- internships and any previous relevant work.
If you are a first-time job seeker
, you can showcase your skills
for example in creativity or project management. Mentioning activities or achievements will let the employers know that you really stand by your claims.
Clearly state your job title, responsibilities
and primary tasks
. The more specific you can be about what you did the better. Sort your bullet points by relevance with the most relevant at the top.
Jun 2008 – Present IT Manager Maplins
Oct 2003 – Jun 2008 IT Support Officer Ladypool Warehouse Ltd.
- Mentoring and training new IT staff;
- Researching, installing and configuring new computer systems;
- Keeping up to date with the latest technologies.
Jan 1999 – Sept 2003 IT Admin West London Council
- Provided extensive IT support to internal and external stakeholders;
- Installed and configured computer hardware operating systems and applications;
- Monitored and maintained computer systems and networks;
1996 – 1999 Various jobs Retail (sectors)
- Produced Requirements Documentation (diagrams and workflow);
- Maintained the computer network and information systems.
Section 5: Other work experience / volunteering / hobbies
In this section, mention all activities in which you were involved outside your education
or previous work environment. They could be connected with:
- voluntary work,
- peer mentoring,
- student representative bodies,
- sports, culture etc.
Including them in your CV could matter a great deal, especially when looking for a job as a first-timer. It can help you enrich your CV
and making it more attractive
for a future employer. If there are many candidates running for the same position, it could definitely put you at an advantage.
This tells the employer a lot about you, what you enjoy, what skills have you developed
outside your studies, what your interests are
. You can list as many activities as you like so long as they show you possess skills your employer will find relevant
. Again, use bullet points to indicate what you have done and learnt.
Note: mentioning your hobby of photography can be useful for a graphical designer, not for an administrative employee! So, mention only hobbies you consider relevant for the job application.
Section 6: Languages
For each language you know, indicate your level in written skills and speaking skills. Mention the courses you attended and certificates you got (mentioning the name of the institution, which organised the course and the mark you got). If you mention your language level using the CEFR for Language scale, don’t forget to explain it (not all employers are aware of this EU-standardization).
|Spoken and written proficiency in French. This language was practiced and improved during six-months Erasmus exchange programme in the university of Grenoble (Fr);
Very good spoken and written skills in English. 2012: “FCE - First Certificate in English” issued by Cambridge University.
Section 7: Computer / technical skills
Mention all your skills and knowledge related to ICT. You can also add certificates e.g. ECDL.
|Advanced level skills in Microsoft Office Suite, basic HTML programming.
Section 8: Additional information
It is an opportunity for you to provide some personal background
to help employer understand what kind of person
you are. Consider carefully what you choose to share! In this section you can also state your availability for travelling, transfers etc.
At the end of your CV, don’t forget the date, your signature and always remember to send an updated CV! If required by your country legislation, mention the authorization to the treatment of personal data in the respect of the EU regulation about data protection before the date and your signature.