Tips on writing a CV to make you stand out from the crowd

Welcome to Career Academy. At The Nottingham, we believe in driving young people’s aspirations for the future. Moving from education to employment is an exciting journey but one that can require a lot of skills to reach your full potential. 

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Your CV, or curriculum vitae is a one or two page document which showcases your skills, experience and most importantly, what makes you suitable for the job you are applying for. Most employers like The Nottingham will ask for a CV. You can find various CV templates online, allowing you to add the relevant information on a predesigned document. Here are some top tips on writing a CV to make you stand out from the crowd.

1. Get personal

Start with a personal statement – this is a short statement to briefly outline your career to date and the reasons for your interest in the role you are applying for.  You don’t need to list all of your experience here, the aim is to highlight professional attributes and goals, summarising why the employer should consider your application. It is important this is personalised to the role you are applying for.

2. Experience is key

Describe the work experience you've had already. Shortly explain your tasks, responsibilities and achievements. Try and focus on transferable skills that will help you to be successful at other jobs as well.

If you don’t have much work experience, it is fine to start with your education however, no matter how short your experience; there will always be transferrable skills like customer service, organisation skills or even time management that you can draw upon.

Don’t forget to include your job title, dates you were employed, a location of where you worked, a brief summary of the organisation you worked for and outline any key achievements. 

3. Make it relevant

Make sure the information is relevant to the role you are applying for and that there is enough detail to entice employers to shortlist your application – sell yourself!

4. List your education

Your education is really important, especially at the start of your career. It can demonstrate a commitment to study and improving your knowledge as well as what you excel at.

Ensure you list the qualification (starting with the highest accolade) the dates, school or university and its location, any subjects and grades. It is fine to use estimated grades if you are still waiting on those all-important results just add a note in with the estimated date of your final results.

5. Added extras

Feel free to add in any additional information if there are any key achievements during your education you feel will add value to your application such as being a student ambassador. This is a type of work experience which may be useful in drawing a picture of the sort of person you are and demonstrate that you are not afraid of responsibility. 

6. Essential contact details

You do not need to include references at this stage, that comes later, but definitely ensure you include your contact details – email and phone number. Use a professional email address without nicknames or symbols and make sure that you check it regularly.

7. Check for typos

You should always ask someone like a teacher or someone you know that works in a similar industry to read through your CV to check for any spelling mistakes or typos and give you feedback. 

There we have it, seven tips to make sure your CV is as ready for the job application process as you are. Check out the rest of our Career Academy to hear from some of our team members about a day in their life whilst working in financial services.

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