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Swansea Working - Writing a CV

Our guide to what to include in your CV.

  • What do I write?
  • How do I set my CV out on the page and have the right format?
  • How do I make sure my CV sets the right tone?

Writing your CV

When writing your CV it's important to understand yourself and just as importantly to understand the job you are applying for.

Your CV should be no more than 1 or 2 pages and contain all the attributes that you value.

Certain jobs will test your attributes differently and perhaps you should compare your own skills at this point. Also consider your weaknesses, as you can address these yourself personally, but only focus on your professional suitability required for the job.

Your strengths

Tailoring your suitability can be tricky, however, your main strengths will fall into one, two or maybe all of the requirements for the role.

Think similar to the attributes described in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as outlined below from the Harry Potter books.

Are you team:

GRYFFINDOR -Described as the house of the daring and the brave.

RAVENCLAW- Described as the house of the wise.

HUFFLEPUFF- Described as the house of the loyal and the fair

SLYTHERIN- Described as the house of the ambitious and the cunning

Whether you have skills that equate to guiding and leading others or you are a novice or newcomer to the team, let your talent shine through, without denial or fear.

This will capture the audience and the right job for you. Don't forget that it is your CV and not theirs. You are unique and more gifted than you realise and without a shadow of a doubt there is good value in that. Why wouldn't the employer want a player to add more points to their team?

What to include at the top of your CV?

Your name

Your address

Your mobile telephone number (landline if not)

A sensible email address. Create one that should include your name and surname and some corresponding letters or numbers. A bad example of an email address would be firebolttroll@hotmail.com. It's not very professional looking is it?

You can even include a link here to any digital wizardry you may have produced to show off your extended CV online. You may have LinkedIn with an extended portfolio of each job you have undertaken or Instagram to showcase your professional work you have managed to conjure.

What not to include

Don't include things like your date of birth, current age, national insurance number or banking details. There are unfortunately some bad wizards online who could get access to this information.

Stay away from including irrelevant information in any section. An employer doesn't need to know you have any obsessions with collecting trolls. Unless you know for sure they too have the same interest.

Your personal statement

Target the job you are applying for. The first sentence in your personal statement should tell the employer immediately your experience for the role you are applying for. Avoid using bland and over used words that don't have a sense of magic and are seen throughout so many typical CVs. 'Competent, capable and reliable', though important attributes for any job role, unfortunately are overused in personal statements and don't reflect on your unique individuality. Make your CV your own. Think about the job at hand and that the employer wants to be captivated by who you are and also know you are the best fit for the job. They want to see you can follow their house rules, values and even have room for their requirements. Research the employer for this section.

Key skills

We all have key skills. Include these skills in plain sight to ensure the employer knows you are the right person for the job. These skills highlight your intelligence in order to catch the eye of the employer. Include several bullet points here to improve your chances of survival in the sifting process. Highlight all the essential key requirements for the job post here. Being clear here means the employer will review the rest of your CV and offers security for the employer in your value.

Work history and experience

This section is of utmost importance. It highlights your sense of magical skills. There will be good and bad spots throughout your career that may not be relevant to the post you are applying for, however, all your experiences are transferable and valued.

Your work history, volunteering or placement experience should backdate to no more than 10 years. IT based jobs from 10 years ago for example are hardly current now and systems do change as do people. Taking the time to care for family is a gap you may have a concern with in this section. However, this is an important career gap and a responsible employer will see this. Take times like these as positives to establish what you have to offer. Don't leave any gaps during the 10 year period.

Start with identifying your job role, employer and then include the month and year you began and ended within each post, then, below each job post, begin to bullet point the responsibilities with a comprehensive explanation of what the job entailed.

Education and qualifications

Your education is forever expanding and in this section you should focus on what you have achieved most recently in-house and points you have accumulated with previous employers or most recently in a professional body capacity, college or school setting. 

The more relevant your education for the job post the better. Don't forget to include which school or college you went to and also the relevant year you obtained the training.

Hobbies and interests

This section is not compulsory within all CVs. However, to the talented eye, there is room for you to research the company's extra sports or craft activities which you may have interest in yourself. Does the employer enjoy playing Qwidditch? Check any of their webpages for this. Establishing others hobbies and interests is also an important note to make. Hobbies and interests are a good place to show your unique fitness skills or even cooking ability. Everyone likes a good baker!

References

Obtaining good references shouldn't be too hard, especially for people who have given their all to past employers. Once they know and understand your work ethic it's safe to say you should get good support. If you act professional, curious and kind to everyone you meet they will remember you in a positive light. Usually the employer will request two good references subject to a job offer, unless otherwise stated on the application form.

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