Your CV is pivotal to opening the door.
The value of your CV therefore, can’t be overstated. It is the first thing an employer sees when evaluating your capabilities to do the job at hand.
For that reason, the way you present yourself on paper has an outsized impact on your chances of securing an interview and opening the door to opportunity.
To help our candidates, we spoke to our mentors for their advice on crafting a compelling CV and compiled all their tips and guidance to help you open as many doors as possible.
What you will need to draft the perfect CV
Although you will likely want to create a ‘general’ CV for the purpose of speculative applications, it is advised you tailor and adapt your CV to suit the business you are applying to and the role you are applying for.
Useful information to gather includes:
- Profile of the job, or if you’re applying for a specific role, get the specification/job description
- Evidence of your qualifications – it is best to have some grades stated in your CV
- Details about your past jobs or volunteering experience and any measures of the impact of the work you completed
- Evidence of training courses you have completed and associated qualifications
Picking a CV layout
There are a vast array of choices in how best to layout your CV, but they should be dictated to you by the role you’re applying for.
For example, if you’re looking at a design role, consider showing off your design flare in your template.
Take a look at the Prospects website to take a look at some different sample CVs that may influence your choices.
What your CV should include
While some elements of your working history can be excluded from your CV due to lack of relevance to what you’re applying for, there are some pieces of information that you have to include.
You also have the chance to highlight the work you’re most proud of through the order of the information on the document.
The skills you have developed through your sporting career are extremely relevant for business – make sure you include these.
- Your name at the top of the document – no need to add CV or curriculum vitae
- Your full address and postcode
- Your telephone number
- Your email address – always use a professional sounding one
- Your LinkedIn profile (if you have one)
Leave out details such as your age, date of birth, marital status and nationality. There are not required and could be subconsciously used to discriminate against you.
The same can be said for a photograph on the CV – as a general rule of thumb do not include one.
This is your opportunity to express yourself, provide a short summary of who you are and what you hope to achieve in your career.
Think about the job you’re applying for and what the employer is looking for and showcase how you will add value to them and their objectives.
Make your profile sound like they have found the perfect candidate for the role.
Your sporting history, volunteering and work experience
As you have been focused on sport as your profession, it’s critical to call out any and all roles of responsibility you may have held during this time.
Outline what you achieved within the role and make reference to any key moments.
Make sure to include work placements, volunteering and any paid jobs that add relevance and experience.
You’ll need to provide details of:
- The employer, with the most recent job first
- The title of the job you help and who you reported to
- The dates you worked
- A brief outline of your core responsibilities and the value that you added – this could be in bullet point format or a few lines to highlight your strengths and skills
This section can be added after your personal statement when you’re early in your career or if you feel that your work experience is light.
If you have had several jobs, you may want to change the order and display your work history and skills first.
Whatever order you choose you’ll need to give:
- The names of your qualifications
- If you have a degree, then keep this to A levels or equivalent with grades achieved. It is not as important to have the GCSEs listed because it is assumed that you achieved a standard to study for level 3 courses.
- If you do not have a degree, list your GCSEs and state what grades you achieved – make particular reference of your English and Maths qualifications.
- List the school, college or university where you studied (or all of them)
- The dates you attended each
Hobbies, interests and achievements
This might seem trivial, but it illustrates what else you do in life and indicates towards your character.
This can provide additional topics of conversation at interview and demonstrates the full roundedness of your personality – particularly useful if its a shared interest with the interviewer!
You don’t need to include these on your CV, typically the recruiter or employer will ask for them when you get through to the next stage or are being considered for an offer.
And that’s it. Treat your CV with respect and consider how it may land on the desk of the hiring manager. What do you want them to take away from the document and how can you stand out?