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How To Write a Great CV

Writing a great CV or résumé is your first step to making an impression on an employer, so it’s important to get it right.

If you are a recent graduate or have been in your current job role for a long time, designing a professional CV may seem daunting at first - but it’s all about including the key information in the right layout.

Because Oscar’s Recruitment Consultants receive hundreds of CVs every day, they need to be able to find your important details, skills and experience quickly and easily.

Make your CV stand out from the pack by following our easy tips on content and presentation:

1. Contact Details at the Top

Always begin your CV with your contact details – your name, address, contact number, email address and your LinkedIn URL.

2. A Short Personal Profile

This is your opportunity to tell your potential employer why you are perfect for the job.

In a few short sentences, list your key skills, experience and attributes which are relevant for the role you have applied for, but steer clear of the clichéd buzzwords and phrases (“I work well within a team,” “I am very enthusiastic”) and any attempts of humour.

3. Education

Next, list details of your education in reverse chronological order. If you are a graduate this section will be more important compared to an experienced candidate, so include any modules you completed as part of your degree which are relevant to the job role you are applying for.

4. Employment History

Again in reverse chronological order, list your previous jobs, including the job role, the name of your employer, the dates you were employed there, and bullet points of the key duties you performed.  For graduates, include any relevant work experience and internships or placement years.

Be aware that your recruiter may ask you about any long gaps between jobs.

5. Other Qualifications

This section is for any additional skills or qualifications you have attained which were not a core part of your education.

List any relevant courses you have attended, any technical abilities, secondary languages you speak (moderate – fluent), and machinery or software you are qualified / able to use.

6. Interests

Tell the employer the things you do in your spare time that make you different from the other candidates.

In a few bullet points or short sentences include your interests and hobbies, such as any sports you play regularly or societies you are a part of, but leave out information about any trade unions or political parties you are affiliated with.

7. Spelling and Grammar

Spelling mistakes are an instant turn-off for recruiters as it shows that you have not paid due diligence to ensuring your CV is perfect.

Once you have written your CV, check it for any spelling and grammatical errors. Run it through your spell checker and then read through it several times - remember your spell checker won’t flag up where you have written “or” where you meant to write “of.”

If spelling and grammar are not your strength, ask a friend to check over it for you.

8. Length

The length of your CV will differ depending on your level of experience, but you should aim to fill around two pages.

9. File Format

Make sure your CV is saved as a Microsoft Word or PDF document so that it can easily be opened by your Recruitment Consultant.