Your CV

A CV is one of the most important documents you need to help with your job search.

Your CV is a record of your education, work experience, skills and abilities and is your opportunity to tell employers what you are good at and why you would be suitable for a particular job or apprenticeship.

It is important to take the time and effort to tailor your CV to the role and present your information clearly to ensure your CV stands out, as it is your chance to make a great impression and get to that interview short-list.

Some employers prefer applicants to send in a CV rather than fill in an application form and some online job search sites require applicants to upload a CV to apply for the roles they are advertising.

What are the sections I need to include in my CV?

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  • Personal Details
  • Personal Statement/Profile
  • Key skills and Achievements
  • Employment History
  • Education and Qualifications

What is a Personal Statement / Profile?

After your name, this is the first section a potential employer will read. This is your chance to sell you and your skills to a potential employer, it is your opportunity to make a positive first impression! Employers spend seconds looking at your CV, so you need to very quickly grab their attention.

The statement needs to be a clear and concise and not only give your skills and experience, it also needs to be relevant for the type of job you are applying for.

What should I include in a Personal Statement/Profile?

To help you write a successful personal statement, you will need to consider:

  • Who you are?
  • What can you offer?
  • What you career goals are?
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Personal Details

This is your name address and contact details. You can enlarge or embolden your name to make it stand out. Don’t include your marital status, family details, date of birth or photo unless specifically asked for.

Writing your Personal Statement / Profile

Keep it short and to the point. Personal statements do need to be informative but remember, it is a summary and ideally should be no more than 150 words or 4 to 5 lines (personal statements for University applications will be longer).

When writing your personal statement, keep the person or tense consistent throughout.

It isn’t a one-size fits all document. Every job you apply for will require a different set of skills and requirements, so make sure you tailor your personal statement to match the type of role you are applying for.

If you are struggling for the key skills you need to add into the personal statement, use the job description for inspiration, this is what the employer is looking for!

Try and avoid clichés, such as a ‘good team player’ and ‘good communication skills’. They are overused and don’t really describe what you can do. Such phases need to be backed up with examples to show the employer how and when you have had to demonstrate these skills.

Proof-read your personal statement to make sure it reads through correctly and make sure you do not have any spelling or grammar errors.

Writing your Key Skills and Achievements

You can use this section to highlight the most important skills that you have. You can make these specific to a particular job or sector you are applying for. Remember to identify any key achievements you have had in your life.

Writing your Employment History

Give the details of the jobs you have had, starting with the most recent first, you need to state each employer’s name, your job title and dates you worked there. Give as much detail as possible of your role and responsibilities you had in that job, the skills you used and include any key achievements and explain a little about them where possible.

Focus on your most recent experience, giving details of your two most recent roles, then summarise or briefly list your remaining experience (unless there is something you really wish to highlight for the role). You need to consider the types of jobs you are aiming for.

Writing about your Education and Qualifications

You will need to give the details of the secondary school, college and university you attended. You will need to state when you attended and also provide details of the qualifications you attained (showing the most recent first). It is also helpful to give details of any training courses you have attended.

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Skills & Employability South Yorkshire is being delivered by City of Doncaster Council and is part-funded by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Sheffield City Council. This project is part-funded by UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.