Having been recruiting for 20 years, one of the most common questions I’m asked is ‘what should a CV include?’

Let me share with you the contents of a good CV.

Remember, an excellent resume or curriculum vitae (CV for short) is the first step to landing your dream job. If you get this part wrong all hopes will be dashed.

Your CV should be detailed enough to give your potential employer a good understanding of who you are, what you have to offer, and why they should hire you. It’s vital that you keep in mind that the person reviewing your CV knows nothing about you.

So, what should a CV include?

Well firstly, pay attention to the structure of your CV; it needs to tell a story. I start with an introduction as to who I am, making sure to immediately mention my key assets.

Next, I provide a graphic timeline of experience and education. I do it graphically because it is easy on the eyes and will give the reader a break.

After the graphical representation, I outline key achievements especially the ones that relate to what the company needs. The result of this is the interviewer saying “oh! He’s done this, I need this!”

You should not be afraid to make your CV multiple pages because if the employer is serious, they will read through or can skip through what they do not want.

The contents of a good CV should also outline your expectations and goals. This is something many people overlook. What do you want from the company and what do you plan to do in the company? Your goals and expectations should be personalised in a way that speaks to the specific company.

What else should a CV include? Well, in terms of the design, I’ve structured my CV to appear like a book. This is a style I like. You are free to use your own creativity when deciding how to design yours.

Remember - a good design can certainly get you attention, but of course don’t make the mistake of assuming that the design will overcome shortcomings in your CV. It won’t! The contents of a good CV ensures recruiters can find all pertinent information as easily as possible. Make the recruiters job easy – bring to attention everything in your past that makes you perfect for the role – and you stand an excellent chance of being called up for an interview!

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