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write a CV
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Essential advice to ensure your CV doesn't end up in the bin before it even gets read. Click here to find out about the perfect cover letter.
Since its launch in 2011 (originally as example-cv.com), How to write a CV has helped millions of jobseekers better their chances in the employment market. With free Microsoft Word CV templates, résumé templates, guides and articles, we're here to help you succeed. Whether you’re putting together your CV for the first time or revamping your existing CV, grab a free CV template from our extensive collection. Our CV templates are all professionally formatted without any unnecessary graphics or elements that distract from the information that your prospective employer is looking for.
Quick CV dos and don'ts
Don’t include any unnecessary information – by this we mean photos of yourself, your marital status, the number of kids you have or your age. Including this just gives prospective employers the chance to exercise prejudice against you before you’ve had the chance to impress them.
Don’t jazz up your CV with graphics and colours (unless you’re going for a role for which graphic design or something similar is a huge element). These just detract from your important information and make you look unprofessional.
Don’t include an unprofessional email address (e.g. email@example.com). Set up a new gmail account if this is you.
Don’t include your hobbies that may not be desirable from an employer’s point of view, such as ‘drinking’ ‘socialising’ ‘pubs’ .. etc.
Don’t list soft skills such as communication and team work unless you can give examples of where you’ve demonstrated these. Otherwise they just come across as fluff/padding.
Do include hobbies that are desirable, such as taking part in sports and an interest in fitness.
Do give one professional and one suitable personal reference. Your personal reference is usually a course tutor or someone similar, and not your mum or dad.
Do briefly explain on your CV any gaps in your employment history – don’t leave prospective employers to reach their own incorrect conclusions.
Do explain why you’ve moved roles a lot, if that’s the case.
Do spell check your CV carefully as sloppy mistakes show lack of care and may lose you an interview.
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