Here are five tips on how you should format, present and write your CV…
- Presentation is key – when picking a font never go below size 11. Your font is also something that needs to maintain a mature impression, so choose Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. Avoid any wacky fonts like Comic Sans. The reason you want a well readable font is that when your CV gets to the hiring managers desk it needs to be easy to read. Your CV also needs to be formatted clearly, including headings for ‘Education, Work Experience, References’ etc so they can easily find what they are looking for. Feel free to use bullet points to make your CV more readable but do not use it for every paragraph, only the vital pieces e.g. your extracurricular activities.
- Add a title – make sure to have your name e.g. ‘Joe Blogg’s CV’ at the top of the paper followed by your address, telephone number and email address. Follow this with an introductory paragraph detailing your career aspirations (e.g. if you are applying for a retail apprenticeship, what attracts you to retail) and any skills you may have that will make them want to employ you.
- Education – After your personal profile, you then need to add your education. It is best to list this in chronological order with the last school you attended being at the top. You do not need to include your primary school so start from secondary school onwards. When it comes to adding qualifications simply list the grade and the subject like so:
GCSEs: English (B), Maths(C), Geography(A), History(D).
Include any academic awards/achievements too e.g. a scholarship, gold award in the English literature challenge.
- Work Experience – after your education any work experience you have acquired should be listed next. This could include any jobs you have had or work experience placements. Add the dates you worked there, the name of the company and the role you had e.g. sales assistant at boots pharmacy). Underneath, add a brief description of your duties there e.g. my duties included: speaking with customers, assisting with the checkout desk, answering the telephone, dealing with difficult customers. This section is important for you to show what skills you possess that would be ideal for the company you are hoping to be employed by. Amend this part to reflect what the job role you are applying for may want to see.
- Interests – this is where you can express yourself and your personality. Detail all interests you have that may be relevant to the apprenticeship you are applying for or that the employer may be interested in. Try to avoid ‘I enjoy hanging out with my mates playing on my Xbox’. Instead, include certificates or achievements you have e.g. I gained a gold medal in a swimming tournament.
Finally, references. Even though you may not have had a job before, you will need to provide a few references from Tutors, Teachers or past employees, if you have had work previously. However, ALWAYS make sure to have asked the referee’s permission beforehand as they may be contacted if you are successful.