Jobseeker Skills Hub

Your CV and the job interview are the two main obstacles standing between you and landing that dream job. Writing a CV can be difficult, it’s not clear what you should include and what your shouldn’t include in your CV.

Then, once you’ve mastered your CV, you have to tackle the job interview. What do you do and what shouldn’t you do in the interview? In this section, you we aim to clear up some of the mysteries.

Remember, we are happy to help you write your CV and prepare for your interview since we ensure that we have a deep understanding of our employers and their roles.

How to write a CV

1. Start with name, address and contact details

Start with your name right at the top, don’t worry about writing ‘CV’ or ‘curriculum vitae’ at the top. It’s obvious what it is.

List your contact details in a prominent position at the top clearly, you’d be amazed how many people forget this.

Top Tip – Add a link to your LinkedIn profile, try and use a customised URL.

2. Introduce yourself

This is where you should summarise and highlight what you can offer to a prospective employer. Summarise any career highlights that will draw attention to what you have accomplished. It should be tailored for each role you apply for and aim to make you stand out from competition.

3. Summarise your skills

Use brief bullet points to list the skills and experience you have that are specific and relevant to the role. Hiring managers will scan this section of your CV very quickly to see what you can offer and your suitability for the role.

Tip – wherever possible, use the same adjectives as those used in the advertisement.

4. Highlight relevant experience

This section should include your work history in most recent historical order including paid work, relevant volunteer or work experience placements. It is important to tailor this section of your CV to the job, specifically where key responsibilities in previous roles are applicable for your application.

Tip – highlight how you overcame challenges both personally and as a team member.

5. Shout about your achievements

Your CV is your opportunity to sell yourself and highlight why you are the best fit the role, so it is important to include where you have gone above and beyond or made a significant achievement.

Where the achievements are measurable be sure to include the numbers, such as increased sales over target by 10%.

6. List any training, education and courses

Only list what is relevant or required for the role you are applying for, starting with most recent. It is important to showcase where you may have up-skilled or could bring new knowledge to the organisation.

7. Mention any interests/hobbies (optional)

This is where you can highlight your personality in any hobbies or interests outside of work. Note, it is optional to include this on your CV and it is best to avoid stating anything that could cause friction early on.

8. References are available on request

It is fine to list ‘references are available on request’ if you are not comfortable disclosing your referees until further into the recruitment process. It is important to make sure you have them readily available and contactable when requested.

Take your CV to the next level

Optimise your CV: In an increasingly digital age, it’s important that your CV works online as well as on paper. Employers use keyword searches to see how relevant your CV is to the job, so pick out the most important words from the job description and use them.

Google power: The first thing most prospective employers will do after reading your CV is Google you. Make sure your social media profiles are private and photos are hidden. Also, if you have a LinkedIn profile, make sure your CV matches so that you are consistent.

Match your CV to the job: Employers can spot ‘one size fits all’ CVs a mile off so make sure yours stands out by tailoring your CV to fit the job you’re applying for. Pick out the required skills listed in the job description and adapt your examples.

What to do in a job interview

You’ve landed the interview, so now what? Everyone one gets nervous about interviews
but if you’re prepared and know what you’re doing, you’ll do fine.


Research the organisation
Most interviews will include a few questions about the organisation so make sure you’ve done your homework. Most candidates will have read the ‘about us’ section on the homepage so go a little deeper and find out about what the organisation has planned for the future. Understanding the company will also help you explain why you want to work there.

Read the news
It’s quite common for interviewers to ask you whether you’ve read anything in the news recently that would impact on the work the organisation does. Be prepared by reading a few relevant articles and picking out stories relevant to the sector you’re applying for.

Find out about the interview
Find out as much as you can about the style of the interview before it happens. How many people will be interviewing you? Who are they? Knowing these things will help you prepare and feel more relaxed on the day.

Dress appropriately
It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed for an interview. Be smart and pay attention to detail by making sure you iron your shirt, wear smart shoes, wear subtle accessories etc.

Ask good questions
At the end of the interview, you’ll most likely be asked whether you have any questions. Make sure you are prepared for this by asking questions that also offer up some new information about yourself at the same time. For example, saying ‘I’m a keen runner, do you have any sports facilities on site?’ is far more effective than simply asking if there’s a staff gym.

Be self aware
Think about your body language and the way you’re coming across on the day. Greet each interviewer individually, be positive, smile and make eye contact. This will make everyone feel more relaxed!


Fill the silence
Interviewers will often pause once they think you have finished giving your answer to see whether you will keep talking to avoid silence. Answer the question fully and to the best of your ability and then stop. Don’t be drawn into carrying on as you will dilute your original answer.

The thing with telling a few white lies is that they always get found out in the end. Be honest and build a strong reputation for yourself as someone who always tells the truth and can be relied on.

Go empty-handed
Take your letter of application and CV with you so you look prepared. If you’re worried about forgetting things or not getting your point across, take a few bullet points on reminder cards to help jog your memory if you get a bit stuck.

Talk too much
Answer all the questions fully but make sure you are not talking so much that you forget to listen. Listening carefully and understanding the questions properly will improve your answers.

Your next career move starts here. Search and apply on our website.

Didn’t find exactly what you were after? We are constantly adding new and exciting opportunities. Send us your CV and we will let you know when we find one that matches you.

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