All CV’s benefit from being broken down into sections, perhaps using shaded areas to break the page up so your eye is drawn to the various headings.
The types of headings you use may be different depending on your career to date and your aspirations.
Do not write Curriculum Vitae across the top. Everyone knows what this document is, so it’s not necessary. Use that space at the top to write your name in a large bold font. In a smaller font underneath put your contact details. Note it is not necessary to write the words ‘address’ ‘contact details’ or anything similar. Keep this section really clean and clear. If you have a shortened customised URL link for your LinkedIn profile, add that in here too.
Your first section should be your Profile. No longer than 3-5 lines long. You can call this a ‘Personal Profile’, ‘Profile’, or ‘Professional Profile’. But don’t call it a ‘Personal Statement’! That is reserved for when you are applying for entry into a university and you are past that stage!
The next section can be called ‘Key Skills‘ or ‘Areas of Expertise’ or ‘Key Strengths’. Think very carefully what you call this section as it really does matter. Key Strengths can be good when you have just graduated as you are working towards honing these skills. Key Skills is good for when they are definitely under your belt, and Areas of Expertise is just that – when you feel you have the knowledge and experience in those areas, to match the skill set.
The next section lists your Employment History. Again, the heading can say masses about you. For instance does ‘Work History’ sound like you are a professional person or not? What sort of image does ‘Career History’, ‘Career Summary’, or ‘Professional Career’ sum up. Hopefully something on a higher level!
Next should come your Education and Qualifications section. If you’ve just left uni ‘Education & Qualifications’ are fine. If you have been on training courses and have more of a career under your belt then ‘Professional Qualifications, Training & Education’ might be a more appropriate header.
If you belong to any Associations, then consider ‘Professional Qualifications, Education & Memberships’ instead.
An Additional Information section is sometimes good. Here you could put in your availability, that you have a clean driving licence, or any language or computer skills you have etc.
Hobbies & Interests should always be included. You don’t need many – just 3-4 will do. List them like Running | Ballroom Dancing | Charity Work. Words with a | in-between.
And lastly, References. With the line ‘Available upon request’ underneath. You do not need to stipulate who your referees are at this point. Unless you particularly want to brag/impress the recruiting manager!
As always, if you have a specific question you’d like me to answer, please do not hesitate to drop me a line email@example.com