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How to write a good CV

Your CV is the first thing that future employers will look at and it can help you to secure an interview and potentially land a job.  To increase your chances, it is important that your CV is well written.  This blog post offers guidance on how to prepare your CV.  The guidance should be read in conjunction with the CV sample templates for Maternity Nurses and Nannies.

Formatting requirements

The look and layout of your CV can give a first impression, so it is important that you make sure it looks nice and that it is edited well. A CV that isn’t well laid out and/or has mistakes could even prevent you from gaining an interview as it can give the potential employer the impression of carelessness and an unprofessional approach.  You should:

  • Use clear and easy to read fonts like Times New Roman, Ariel or Calibri and keep it to normal font size 10-12;
  • Try to summarise your work experience and qualifications in 2 A4 size pages. You don’t need to write down your whole life history, just the relevant information;
  • Keep formatting consistent. For example, if a headline is bold, all headlines should be bold, and all bullet point should be consistent using the same symbols;
  • Make sure that you check spelling, punctuation and grammar throughout the CV;
  • Don’t attach your photo to the CV unless they are specifically asking for it; and
  • Tailor the CV to the job you are applying for and try to highlight the qualities that they are looking for.

 

Contact details

This section should include the following:

  • Your first name and surname;
  • Your mobile number. Make sure you use a number that you will be available on throughout the day;
  • Your email address. This will need to look professional and preferably have your name in it. For example – jane.smith@email.com and not fluffyunicorn97@email.com; and
  • Your address details. You don’t have to give your full address if you don’t wish to (especially if your CV will be made public), but give enough information to locate the areas you area based in (such as your town name).

 

Personal statement (profile)
Research shows that employees often look at the top section of a CV first before deciding if they want to read any further. So, it is a good idea to add a personal statement in the top section of the CV.  Here you should outline your key highlights so that employers can see with immediate effect why you may be suitable for the position.  It should be well written and no longer than 3 sentences.

Work experience

This section should include the following:

  • Start and finish dates. The month and year will be sufficient, with the most recent job listed first (see further information below outlining two options for arranging this information);
  • Job title;
  • Name of employer; and
  • General duties. Here you should clearly list and summarise your main duties.  Make sure you don’t just use short descriptions like “taking care of the children”.  Instead give more details like “assisted with bottle feeding, changing nappies and helped with transportation”.  Also give details about the age of the children you have worked with and any other relevant specifics, such as working with twins and siblings.

Different roles can be listed separately (like option A below).  However, if you have a lot of short-term placements with families carrying out the same role/similar duties, rather than risk ending up with a long list of repetitive examples, it is advisable to write an overall summary instead (like option B below).

Option A

18th-21st May 2018                 Maternity Nurse                      Brown Family
General duties:  xxx

May 2016 – April 2018            Nanny                                     Jones Family
General duties:  xxx

Option B:

Sept 2016 – Feb 2018            Private Maternity Nurse working for various families

General duties:  xxx

Education and qualifications

This section should list the following:

  • Your secondary school and college/university with dates and qualifications gained; and
  • Each qualification should be listed separately with the most recent first.

 

Additional relevant information


You should highlight any other additional information here, such as:

  • DBS check – up to date;
  • Driver Licence – UK Full (Clean); and
  • Nationality – British (or if non-UK, state your nationality and if you have a visa).

 

Interests and hobbies
Potential employers are keen to know about your personality.  So, please write about any hobbies or interest you have because this will help them to get a good picture of you.

References
In this section you should just write the following at the bottom of your CV – ‘References available upon request’.  Make sure that you have your potential references ready and you have their name, phone number and address to contact them.

Feel free to attach any cover letter or your LinkedIn profile address to any application.

Maternity Nurse CV sample template
Nanny CV sample template

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