Updated: Sep 1
Whether you’re applying for a part-time job, an apprenticeship, or that first graduate job, a good CV is essential! You could be the most qualified candidate for the role, but if your CV is not up to scratch you may not even get an interview. That's why SAT is creating this CV guide, so you can give the best possible first impression to potential employers.
Writing a CV can be a difficult process, knowing what information to use and getting all this information down in a way that is concise and informative can be a tricky task! That's why SAT has created an easy-to-follow guide for you.
The Do’s and Don’ts' of CV Writing
Make your CV format easy to read and follow
Most employers skim over CVs, especially if they have a lot to go through. If your CV is all one big chunk of text, they will not be able to do this and may pass off your CV without even reading it. Make sure this format is consistent throughout your CV.
Keep it concise- Your CV should be no longer than two pages
As the previous point explains, employers have a lot of CVs to go through. They don't have time to be reading through loads waffle. Keep your information to the point.
Split your CV into sections, this will make the information more accessible to employers. Make sure the headings are in order of importance. The order of your CV should be as follows: personal statement, work experience, education, technical skills/ other qualifications. Within each heading, list the information in reverse chronological order (most recent information first).
Make sure someone proofreads your CV
You don't want any spelling or grammar mistakes in your CV, so get a second pair of eyes to check there are none. This second pair of eyes can also make sure your written words make sense.
If you're exporting your document as a PDF, make sure the format transfers correctly
Sometimes when you export as a pdf, the format can change slightly, so check that there are no big or inconsistent spaces in your document. This can look unprofessional.
Include a personal statement
The employer needs to get a sense of who you are, they can't get this from a list of experiences. Including a personal statement, that is tailored to each job, is a good way to do this. Make sure it's concise and informative though!
Write in the first person
Avoid using personal pronouns, such as I. Doing this can make your CV sound unprofessional
Use any slang words or abbreviations
Again using these sorts of words will make your CV seem unprofessional. This is an impression we want to avoid!
Include a picture of yourself or information of your age and sex
If an employer accepts an application with a photo attached it can lead to accusations against them of discrimination later on. 88% of CVs with photos are rejected because of this. Including your age and sex can lead to discrimination against yourself.
Forget your email and phone number
The employer needs a way to contact you if your application is successful. Make sure your details are included, and that they are correct.
Add irrelevant information
If it doesn't help you get the job, leave it out. You want your CV under two pages so it can be quickly read over. Loads of irrelevant information will make this hard to do.
Have a look at the CV template we have provided if you need any inspiration for the layout of your CV.