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How to design a professional CV

The layout and design of a CV

When designing a format and layout always focus on keeping it as simple and easy to read and not crammed with text. Try to be conventional with the design and don’t go for something that look whacky or eccentric.

The resume should include a personal profile, personal details, academic qualifications, history of your work experience and also references. As a rule try to keep the CV to no more than two pages, with the maximum being three. Below is a typical layout of how a CV should be laid out:

Personal details
These are given at the top of the page and you should give your name, address, telephone number etc. You can also add your date of birth, but this is not essential.

Personal profile
This is essentially your chance to be creative and show your writing skills and explain why you feel you are the right person for the job. Try to be as concise as possible and make it short and to the point, broken up into paragraphs. A profile is especially helpful if you are applying for jobs that have a lot of competition.

Work experience
Give details of your work history, where you have worked before and also what skills you gained there etc. Stress in here if you were ever a supervisor or had a responsible position. Also demonstrate instances where you showed problem solving or organisational skills etc. A good tip is to try to mention skills that are related to the job you are applying for.

Academic and educational qualifications
Again in a ordered layout give details of your qualifications and any other training certificates. Start from your secondary school all the way up to university level and include any private training courses you may have attended, like a first aid course. Be honest when giving details of your qualifications as the company may ask to see your certificates.

Here you have two options, either you can give the name and contact details of two referees who can vouch for you. Or you can simply say ‘contact for details’, implying that you should be contacted for the personal details of the referees.

Related topics

Writing a professional CV

Writing a covering letter

Tips for candidates who are applying for equality and diversity jobs


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