What is a CV?

A CV is a summary of your employment and training history, which you prepare in order to sell yourself to an employer.

It should describe your experience, skills, achievements, and qualities, in a positive light in order to show a potential employer what you have to offer.

All of this information should be relevant. Having gained your 100 metres swimming certificate will not impress when the job you have applied for is based in an office.

Why have a CV?

You should have a CV as a means to responding to advertised vacancies where an employer specifically asks for a CV.

CVs are also useful for sending speculative letters to potential employers.

They can also be helpful when you are filling in an application form as all your information is there and you just have to transfer it onto the application form.

Your aim is to convince the employer to invite you for interview and therefore it is important that your CV makes a good impression. Employers receive many CVs and only have a limited amount of time to spend reading them, so it is vital that you make your CV one the employer wants to read.

What should be included in a CV?

Personal Details

In this section include your full name, address, post code, telephone number with standard dialling code, mobile phone number, and your email address if you have one. There is no need to include your date of birth or your nationality on your CV.

Personal Profile or Career Goal

This section can be a short paragraph which summarises in a few sentences those details about yourself which you would like an employer to be aware of.

Key Skills

Key skills should highlight your transferable skills, qualities and experience that relate to what the employer is looking for.

You can find what the employer is looking for on the job advertisement or job description.

Employment History

Always start with your present or last employer, and work backwards. Give the name of each of your employers and your job title, and the date you started and finished with the employer. Also give a brief description of your responsibilities in each job. Include voluntary work, part time and seasonal work.

Specialised Training/ Education / Qualifications

Give details of specialised training and any further education and secondary school qualifications gained.

Additional Information

This should include achievements, aspirations, and anything else that will attract you to an employer.

Personal Interests / Hobbies

List activities which you are currently involved in and any voluntary work you do. Try and link your interests to the job that you are applying for.


If you want to, you can give the names of two referees including their job titles, addresses and telephone numbers. If possible, the referees should be current or previous employers or recent school or college tutors.

 Be sure to check with your referees that they are agreeable before putting their name on your CV.

If you do not want to include two referees on your CV you can include a statement to say that references are available on request.

Our team at Work EastRen can help you compile a professional CV for free or check over your current CV if you already have one.