How To Write the Perfect Curriculum Vitae
Getting your ideal position always starts with your CV. Your resume is the very first introduction of who you are as a potential employee and it’s from this that employers will decide on whether to invite you along for an interview. Firstly ensure you know the full job description in question and from this tailor your CV to the position that you are applying for.
Presentation is key!
First impressions always count. Before employers even read a CV they will be able to tell a lot just by looking at the presentation. The layout should be well structured with no spelling mistakes. This may sound like an obvious point to make but even just one typing error can leave a bitter taste in an employer’s mouth from the start. A sloppy CV gives the impression of a sloppy work ethic. As a basic rule use Arial and Times, size 12 and you should keep it to no more than two pages of A4. It needs to be concise and cover every point necessary to give the employer a clear idea that you tick all the right boxes for the position without waffling on. At the same time your CV should be no less than one side of A4 otherwise it gives the immediate impression that you don’t have very much to offer and always ensure your CV is to kept it up to date too.
Here are some guidelines on how to put a winning CV together.
At the top of your CV include the following:
WARNING! Always be super safety conscious! NEVER display personal details on public sites, such as Gumtree.
- Address (again for safety never disclose your full address, only name the area and city for example; Barnes, Southwest London.)
- Date of birth
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Photograph, this allows an employer to form an idea of who you are as they read your vitae.
Personal Statement (Profile)
This part is a real deal breaker! This is your chance to sell yourself and should be well written and not too long, keep it short and punchy. You should put across your skills so that employers can see with immediate impact why you may be suitable for the position. It is also a good idea to write in the first person as this is about you. It’s worth reading your profile out loud to yourself to make sure it flows and sounds effective. Here is an example of a personal statement below for someone applying for a position with a new inexperienced mum:
“As a qualified nanny achieving a highly accredited HATAcademy nanny diploma and with over ten years of experience of working with families I have gained many skill sets. I have worked with children from the ages of three months to thirteen years old. During my last four years of working with the same family, after gaining my level 3 in sleep training, I have provided techniques along with advice and much needed support in sleep training for each of their three children. My work ethic is to always remain with the same family for as long as they need me, so that I can provide consistency and a good strong working relationship with the whole family. Using all my expertise I want to continue helping new parents on their journey. I am also very keen on learning more and it is important to me in my work to keep up to date with all the latest childcare training opportunities. These can then aid me further in helping the children in my care develop and learn so that they grow into happy and well-rounded individuals.”
Qualifications (most recent first)
Make sure to include:
- Start and end dates (month and year is fine) of the course/ degree
- Name of establishment
- Qualification gained
(most recent first, related work history is favoured)
Make sure to include:
- Dates – start and finish (month, year)
- Name of employer
- Details of children – i.e. twins, premature, 4 month old, new-born etc.
Feb 2009 – Nov 2010: Live-in Nanny
Mr and Mrs Jones
Cared for two children, both girls aged four years old and 7 months (at the time of starting)
Carried out daily activities to meet the children’s physical and emotional needs
Prepared and served meals and snacks to the four-year-old and fed the baby a combination of bottled milk and solids, and helped to wean the baby fully onto solids
Changed nappies and bathed and dressed the children
Played with the children and took them on walks/to the playground
Organised games and read storybooks to the four-year-old
- DBS check: Up to date
- Paediatric First Aid Certificate: Up to date
- Driver Licence: UK Full (Clean)
- Nationality: British (or if non UK, state your nationality and if you have a visa)
- Driving License: Full (Clean)
This is a great way to show who you are outside the job. It gives the employer an idea of the type of person they are reading about, which is important to such a personal position when working with families. Again don’t ramble on, keep it personal yet always professional. Only pin point interests that are relevant to the position and ones that will enhance your appropriateness for the role. For example you may have a keen interest in baking; this is very appropriate if applying for a nanny position.
Provide reasons for a career change or an explanation of gaps in your career history.
References (most recent first)
BE AWARE: Again for safety reasons never reveal past employer’s personal details. These can be checked in full when required. So just state; ‘References available upon request.’
Finally… It is also a good idea to include a cover letter too. Just to introduce yourself and outline the position you are applying for and in brief describe why you are an ideal candidate for the role. The first thing a potential employer sees in your job application is the cover letter. This doesn’t just support your CV – it’s also an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and persuade the employer to then take the time to read your CV first. Good luck and remember the right CV that correctly highlights your skills and strengths will significantly increase your chances of landing your perfect role!