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CV Structure

When writing a CV you must always be aware that this is your first impression. If your CV is not effective and does not sell you, your chance of being offered an interview is dramatically reduced.

Points to remember

Always consider what you would like your CV to say about yourself. What are your strengths? Why would you make a good employee? If you are looking to secure a particular type of role, make sure this is reflected. Your CV must be clear and easy to read.

  • Structure your CV logically (see example below).
  • Only use white A4 paper with black print.
  • Always check the spelling and grammar.
  • Remember to use spacing well.
  • Highlight the different sections.
  • Consider the font you use. Arial and Times New Roman are probably the best. Courier and Comic Sans are probably the worst.

Ensure your CV holds enough information to spark interest without it becoming a literary masterpiece! Around 3-4 pages is ideal. Be positive and take full advantage of ALL your skills and experience. Make sure your CV is achievement orientated.

Nearly every role is different or places emphasis on a particular skill set. One of the most important things you can do is closely read the job spec and tailor your experience to make it the best possible match. For example, if you're going for an IT job in Java, make sure your experience in that area stands out throughout.

The last thing you should do is lie. However, if you have the experience an employer is seeking and you can make it more prominent, this should be your biggest priority. You might also strongly promote relevant skills and experience for the role, making it easier for a reader to highlight your suitability.

This can be time consuming when you are applying for a large number of jobs but there is no single thing you can do that will result in more interviews. An employer sifting through a large number of CVs will be used to scanning details quickly, so your CV rarely has more than 30 seconds to make an impact. If the job is one you are strongly drawn to, we recommend you take the time to give yourself the best possible chance of an interview.

An Ideal Layout

The template below is an example of how to structure your CV, helping employers see your skills and experience quickly and clearly.

For more advice, head over to our Candidate Advice section.