Top tips for writing your first CV

22 Nov 2021 Blog Learners

So, you’re ready to start applying for jobs, for the first time. Employers will want to see a CV, which is a document where you sell yourself. As you’re new to the job market, you’ll want to make it shine!

Even if you don’t have any formal work experience or qualifications yet, don’t worry! Your CV just has to tell employers what you’re good at, what you’re interested in and what you’ve achieved in life so far.

You can often upload it when applying for a job online and they’re great to take to jobs fairs. 

You should include:

  • Full name and contact details, with address, phone number and email.
  • Personal statement. This should be a short sentence or two, summing up who you are to the employer. It should briefly say what you can bring to a job, with your drive, experience and ambitions. If there’s a job you dream of – like owning your own business – it looks good to show you have a goal for the future. Use bright and positive language!
  • Work Experience. This normally lists jobs you’ve had, with company names and dates, from newest to oldest. Even if you’ve never had a job, there are a number of things that count as work experience. Volunteering with a charity is a great way to boost your CV, as it shows you’ve done something proactive, out of choice. Charity fundraising also shows an ability to manage a project, handle money and deal with people. If you’ve done a short work-experience placement with a company, through school or college, be sure to include that.
  • Skills. If you don’t have any job experience, you can still talk up your own great skills and strengths. These could include communication, problem solving and teamwork. Try to include an example of when you showed each one. If you’re a member of a sports team or club, this can show leadership, team building and determination. Enjoy baking? That demonstrates patience, concentration and even core maths skills. If you’re handy with how computers or cars work, it shows a technical mind that seeks to solve problems.
  • Qualifications. Any qualifications you have will go here. If this section is a bit light, then you should also include any course you’re still completing, stating when you’re expected to finish. If you have them, include predicted grades. A description of coursework and preferred study techniques can further demonstrate your project and time management skills.
  • Reference. Finish your CV with a reference an employer can contact about you. Include their job title, company, phone number and email address. Who can give a reference? Without a previous job, a tutor is ideal or, even better, someone from an organisation you volunteered at.

The CV shouldn’t be more than two pages long. For readability, avoid huge blocks of text. Recruitment experts recommend the Arial or Cambria fonts, to keep it professional. Avoid Word Art or wild colours! Run it through a spell checker on your computer, or get someone else to read it. You also don’t need to include a photograph or your date of birth.

Now that your very first CV is looking its best, you’re ready to start applying. Check out our wide range of Apprenticeship vacancies with top Welsh employers who are currently recruiting. 

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