Writing your CV

Your curriculum vitae is the single most important piece of information when it comes to job hunting. A prospective employer will often make a snap judgment the second they read it and even the most qualified people on the planet can find themselves rejected if the resume fails to come up to scratch. So how can you give yours the edge?

Avoid making it too fancy and complicated. You only have about ten seconds to grab the attention - if it is too clever and unreadable it will go in the bin. Don't try to make jokes and never berate previous employers.

There are no set rules governing the length of your CV - this will be decided on your career history, education and achievements. If possible try to keep it to two page, but if this looks too cramped then feel free to spread it out over three sheets.

Everyone has a different theory when it comes to CV design. Don't get too bogged down over this, just make sure everything is clearly marked. Include your career progression, education and achievements prominently so your prospective employer doesn't have to search.

Here is a basic format: Start off with your name, address and contact details clearly listed at the top of the page. Follow this with a profile of yourself which should include an outline of your skills, experience and immediate career goals. After this you can put in your career history - in reverse chronological order over the past 10 years - with brief descriptions of your responsibilities and achievements. Education generally comes next but for graduates this would come in front of your career history. Then comes any professional training, interests/personal details and references.

Read and re-read your CV, and then ask a friend of family member to read it as well.

Make sure there are no spelling or grammer errors as these will be fatal.

It might sound obvious, but be truthful. Never try to smudge dates and jobs to hide periods of unemployment. The most basic of checks will expose your deceit and ruin any chance of getting the job.