FAQ Personal Details

  • What is a CV?
    A CV is your chance to ‘sell’ yourself to an employer.  It is an advertisement for your skills and experience. It is usually a typed document and includes information about your qualifications, skills and strengths.
  • Should I put my date of birth on a CV?
    No, there is no need to put your date of birth on your CV. Employers do not need to know how old you are. There are minimum age requirements for some jobs – make sure you check this before you apply.
  • Should I include a photo on my CV?
    No, for most jobs you should not put a photo on your CV.  If you are applying for a modelling job, or a job in theatre, acting or the media, you will usually be asked to include a photo.
  • Should I put my National Insurance number on a CV?
    No, you should not include your National Insurance number. You will need to give the employer your National Insurance number when you start work.
  • Should I include my hobbies and interests?
    It’s your choice. They are well worth including if they show you have skills relevant to the job. For example, if you were applying for a job in a garage and also have an interest in car and motor bike repair. You could say what kind of cars or bikes you can repair and what work you do on them. Another example would be playing or coaching a team sport. You could give examples of using communication skills, team work and motivating others.
  • I don’t know how to start writing a personal profile. Can you help me?
  • Look at the qualities the job description is asking for.  Match these to the qualities and skills you know that you have. Now - aim the profile at including these qualities and strengths.
  • Think about the job you are applying for. What kinds of things is the employer looking for in a good employee? Consider which of these skills you have and put these in the profile.
  • Put yourself in the place of the employer. What skills you would want someone to have if you were in their shoes? Again -  match these to the skills and strengths you have and plan to include these in your profile.
  • A profile can be written in a different ways. It can be a paragraph or bulleted or even a combination of both. It can also be called different things like “Profile”, “Personal Profile”, “Skills Profile”, Skills and Strengths”, “Key Skills”, Personal Statement” to name but a few. It is down to personal choice which layout or title you use. Try out a few and see which you feel comfortable with.
  • Should I put my marital status on my CV?
    No. There usually is no reason why an employer would need to know this information.
  • Should I include that I have a driving licence on my CV?
    If you have a full driving licence, you should include this information on your CV! If you have a motor bike licence, then include this too. Don’t include a provisional licence on your CV. It is best to wait until you have a full licence as this is of more use to an employer.
  • Many job advertisements ask for a covering letter with a CV. How do I write a covering letter?
    You do need to provide a covering letter/e-mail with your CV.  The employer needs to know which job you are applying for – you must include this in your covering letter.
  • Everyone I talk to has a different idea on how my CV should be set out, and what should be in it. Is there a right way and a wrong way?
    There is no right way and wrong way to write a CV. Many employers will spend 20 seconds scanning your CV.  Try applying the 20 second rule to your own CV. Look down your CV and see what stands out to you in that 20 seconds.
  • Does a CV always need to be only one page?
    A CV should be no longer than two sides of  A4 (normal photocopying sized paper). How much of those two sides you fill depends on how much you have done. The more experience you have – the more you will be able to include. People leaving education may find it hard to fill two sides because they may not have very much experience. If this is the case one side of A4 is fine.
  • What sort of paper should I print it on?
    The best quality that you can get your hands on. The employer may want to photocopy your CV so try not to use paper that is too thick. You should use white or cream paper.
  • Do I need more than one CV?
    You will probably change your CV for each job you apply for. So – create a core or basic CV. You can then adjust your CV to suit each job applied for.
  • My friend has a nicely written personal profile that I like and she's given me permission to use it. Can I just use it?
    Preferably - no. It is not wise to just copy your friend's personal profile. No two personal CV profiles should be the same since no two people are the same. It also will definitely not look good if you're applying for a job at the same company!
  • What kind of writing style should l use?
    It should be concise and easy to read.
  • Doesn't everyone stretch the truth a bit on their CV?
    Selling yourself involves putting yourself in the best light. But – there is a difference between doing this and making things up on your CV. Never lie about qualification or jobs you have had. If you get an interview you could well be asked to say more about them.


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