Our top tips for CV writing

Writing a CV can be a daunting task. If you ask five friends and colleagues for help, you will undoubtedly come away with five different pieces of conflicting advice. 

Luckily for you, we spend a healthy chunk of our time looking at and advising on CV dos and don’ts. Here are our top tips for education-specific CVs: 

  1. Layout & Timeline

Use a simple, easy-to-read layout. We recommend having your name, contact number and location at the top, followed by your education and qualifications. You should then list your employment, starting with the most recent, writing brief bullet points of your roles and responsibilities in each role. 

  1. Education

Ensure you include your education on your CV, detailing your grades achieved and the university and name of the school. Not only is this Safer Recruitment compliant, but it’s a great opportunity to show high academic achievement relevant to the role you’re applying to. 

  1. Timeline

We recommend including months and dates on your CV as it will make it safer recruitment compliant, easy to follow and digest. If you have any gaps, these need to be explained in brief. 

  1. Don’t be humble!

Your CV is your chance to show off. This is the time you do not want to be humble. Instead, you should be screaming and shouting about everything amazing you have achieved. It is always frustrating when candidates provide us with so much more on a phone call than is on their CV. Excluding key achievements on your CV could mean you’re not making it through the initial screening process with a recruitment agency or a school. 

  1. Check it over

Please make sure you check over your CV for typo amendments, dodgy email addresses and more. First impressions count, and your CV will not be looked at favourably if it’s littered with mistakes. Make sure you have spellcheck on and ask a friend to double-check it before you start applying to jobs. 

  1. Length matters

The length of your CV is relative to your experience. If you have been teaching for years and have key achievements and successes to talk about, these need to be included, and there is no reason your CV can’t be over two pages long. Then again, if you’ve recently graduated and haven’t had many jobs, please don’t feel the need to bulk it out with unnecessary information!

  1. Format

We recommend you don’t waste time paying for expensive templates or making your own custom fancy CV. A CV that looks basic, in black and white, with all the right information is perfect. You don’t need a custom design to stand out from the crowd.

  1. Personality

Adding a short section at the bottom about your interests and extra-curricular achievements is a great way to inject your personality into the CV. If you’re an avid marathon runner or you have raised thousands for charity, definitely include these on your CV! 

  1. References

We recommend you do not include referee details on your CV. We would never contact your references without your permission, but not everyone will work this way. It will avoid any awkward conversations if you simply remove referee details and provide them directly to an employer or agency later down the line.

  1. Save it clearly! 

Make sure you save your CV correctly. We have received mortgage statements, receipts, court letters and more by mistake. Clearly save your CV as “Your Name CV” and ensure you are sending this and this only when you’re applying for jobs. It will save you a lot of embarrassment and potential data protection issues!

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