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CV writing tips

NRG prides itself upon matching the right candidate to the right role. We do this by listening to your requirements and matching to those of our clients. Your CV is the first stage of that matching process, so it is essential that you get it right as it can get your foot through the door for that winning interview!

CV presentation

Keep your CV simple, concise and easy to read. Remember that your CV must be tailored to what the recruiter is looking for.

Your CV must be presented professionally, clearly and in a way that indicates you are an ideal candidate for the role - recruiters will be looking at your skills, experience, behaviours and attitude.

A good place to start would be putting yourself in the shoes of the recruiter and tailor your CV to suit the role. The better the match, the more likely you are to be called for an interview. If you struggle to match your CV to the requirements of the role, then perhaps it is not the right position for you.

Your CV should be no more than two pages long and have line spaces between each section.

Print your CV on plain white A4 paper. The font should remain consistent throughout with bold/larger font sizes for headings. Photographs on a CV are not generally advisable!

Check – and double check - your final CV for spelling and grammar mistakes. You can use a computer spelling and grammar check, but it is also a good idea to get it checked by somebody else.

CV styles

Particular CV styles can help to highlight relevant strengths depending on your experiences to date.

Chronological CV – This is the most familiar format. It outlines your experiences in reverse chronological order with sections for education, experience and achievements. It will typically show progression up a career ladder within the same profession. This format may not be as suitable if you have changed roles frequently or are looking to change your career.

Skills based CV/functional CV – This format of CV focuses on demonstrating evidence by using relevant skills headings to present your evidence. Education and work experience descriptions are kept brief. It is best used if you are trying to change career or if you have changed roles frequently.

Academic CV – More emphasis in this CV is upon knowledge and academic achievements.

CV headings

A CV will typically have the following sections:

  1. Personal details – name, address, contact numbers and email.
  2. Profile – no more than a few sentences outlining your strengths within a workplace environment. Ensure these are a close match to the role(s) you are applying for.
  3. Career history – ensure the same format is used throughout your CV. For example job title, company, dates employed. Bullet points are advisable to ensure a "punchy" approach.
  4. Key skills – again to try ensure these are a close match to the role(s) you are applying for. Consider your recent work experience/academia and the skills you have gained.
  5. Education and/or training – If you have work experience in the relevant field, your school education can be listed and brief. It is important the industry related qualifications are given more detail. If you have little work experience it is important for you to give details of grades gained to support your application.
  6. Personal interests – Be selective in this area and consider the role(s) you are applying for. For example an interest in team sports such as football or netball evidences your capability to work in a team. Resist putting any interests that can lead to an instant judgement – for example enjoying time in the pub!

Remember that employers are reading CVs in order to seek out your skills and abilities such as your willingness to learn, reliability, self-motivation, communication skills, flexibility and organisational skills.

It is important that you use positive words to describe your experience and achievements. Here are a few suggestions, although the list is almost endless!

  • Ambition
  • Advised
  • Attained
  • Built
  • Budgeted
  • Completed
  • Conscientious
  • Confidence
  • Demonstrated
  • Designed
  • Earned
  • Enabled
  • Engaged
  • Formulated
  • Facilitated
  • Generated
  • Guided
  • Implemented
  • Improved
  • Increased
  • Initiate
  • Lead
  • Launched
  • Liaised
  • Loyal
  • Maintained
  • Managed
  • Maximized
  • Motivated
  • Negotiated
  • Navigated
  • Organised
  • Operated
  • Proactive
  • Prepared
  • Produced
  • Punctual
  • Recommended
  • Represented
  • Reduced
  • Reliable
  • Scheduled
  • Supplied
  • Trained
  • Tested
  • Undertook
  • Upgraded
  • Won

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