Active Thames Valley Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships CV Hints & Tips

  • Try to keep your CV to 2 pages in length.
  • Use standard margins, headers and footers. Anything else will seem cluttered if you try to squeeze in too much.
  • Avoid non-standard fonts, frames/borders, tables and other graphics, unless essential and relevant to the industry you are applying to.
  • Use italics, bold and bullet points for formatting but avoid using them too much and over-formatting.
  • Avoid using underlining as it detracts from the overall flow.
  • Check your spelling and grammar carefully! Use the English UK spell-check to remove Americanisms. Use capital letters appropriately!
  • You do not need to include your date of birth, nationality and gender, unless requested in the advert.
  • Make sure you have a professional e-mail address rather than something funny – the person reading it may not share your sense of humour!
  • Grab the reader's attention early on and keep their interest by having a strong profile including facts about you and employment information to reflect relevance to the job role you are applying for.
  • Your profile is your sales pitch, so make sure you set the right tone here.
  • Only use the term 'Work Experience' if the position was unpaid and short-term; for paid long-term contracts or permanent positions use 'Employment History'.
  • The employment history section should include the company name, the job title of the role you held, start and end dates, duties and responsibilities, the targets you achieved and skills you developed in each role.
  • Avoid word repetition especially when using bullet points. Try not to use the same word in the same section twice and definitely not on consecutive lines e.g.:
    • Achieved…
    • Achieved…
  • If you do not have any employment history, make sure you include any voluntary work, summer jobs, ad-hoc work, as this all helps to demonstrate your attitude and experience.
  • If you have gaps in your employment history, perhaps because you were undertaking short-term or temporary jobs, you can consolidate these under one 'employer' to avoid misinterpretation e.g.:
    • Various Contract Roles, XYZ Agency 2010-2011
      Undertook a number of short-term administrative positions, where my duties included answering the telephone, filing and producing word processed documents.
  • Ask someone else to proof-read your CV before submitting it to companies. They will notice any typos and may be able to suggest amendments/improvements.

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