FAQ Experience of Work

  • 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.
  • I left my previous employment on bad terms so should I put this job on my CV?
    There is no easy answer to this question. If you were in the job for quite a long time it would be best to include it on your CV. Normally, you would put your most recent employment first on your CV. If you are changing direction and have done jobs in the past that are relevant, you could list them first. Use a heading such as ‘Relevant employment’ and list those jobs first. Next, put a heading saying ‘Recent employment’ and list your most recent jobs lower on the page.
  • I have a very long work history, should I include all my jobs since leaving school?
    10 years is usually the amount of work history required on a CV. If you have relevant experience from jobs spanning longer than 10 years, it could be worth including them also.
  • I don’t have any training or education as I didn’t pass GCSE’s so what should I put in my CV?
  • If you have had long or varied work history then it is not necessary to include anything about qualifications. In this case, your experience would outweigh your education.
  • Include any short courses or you training you have had. This might include a first aid certificate  or a Manual Handling course. It might also include in house training such as team building or customer service
  • Have you just left school or education without qualifications? List the school you attended and dates. If you sat any GCSE subjects, list these.
  • If you did not sit any GCSEs, simply list the school you attended.  Use a statement such as “Educated to school leaving standard.”  Did you gain any other award or certificates while you were at school? If you gained any key skills or other certificates, such as a COMPACT award, include these in the education section.
  • Application forms usually ask for my reason for leaving my last job. Do I need to include this on my CV?
    You would not include your reason for leaving your last job on a CV. A CV is a marketing document and should highlight your skills, strengths experience and training. If you have been made redundant, mention this in a covering letter or email. Employers can sometimes get funding for employing people who have been made redundant.
  • 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.
    You need the following things to stand out -
     • Job titles
     • Your skills
     • Any training you have done
    Employers will not spend much time looking for the information they need. Your CV needs to be clearly laid out using headings and bullet points.
  • Do I include voluntary work in my CV?
    Yes, it is a good idea to include voluntary work in your CV. It shows you are keen to help and support others – and your community. You will also have developed skills through your voluntary work for example driving, customer care, and working in a team. It can also show that you are doing something recent if you have been out of work for a while. Include a job title on your CV – as you would if it were a paid job, for example ‘Volunteer Driver’ or ’Carer and befriender’.
  • I have been out of work for a long time raising my children or being a carer so I don’t feel that I have anything to put in my CV. What should I do?
  • Have you helped out at your childrens’ school? For example, with school plays or fundraising on behalf of the school, helping in the classroom or playgroup, or on any committees?
  • Have you done any short courses, longer courses or training in that time?
  • What skills do you use to manage your household? Here are some examples of skills you might be using -
     • Organising  - by getting the children to school and activities on time
     • Financial  - by managing the household’s budget
     • Practical – by doing odd jobs around the house or for neighbours
     • Caring – by looking after a family member or friend
    All these things count on your CV!
  • 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 should I put in my employment history section?
    List the employers you have worked for –
     • Put your most recent job first
     • Enter a minimum of one job in this section.
    Remember to tick the 'this is my present employer' box if you are still in this job. If you are fairly young - say under 21- your work history will mean all your previous jobs.
    If you are a recent school or college leaver, list part-time or holiday jobs. You can also add any work experience placements or other work related experiences by your school, college or careers adviser.
    As you gain more experience include only those jobs that are relevant to the position. 
  • 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.


Sign Up


Access all areas by signing up to our free site.

You can save your career profile in a handy and safe place.

You can track and save your progress through our Career+ career planning tool.

Easy access to information, videos and websites that you have used.

1.Tell us about yourself

2.Account details

Minimum 8 characters long
By checking the check box you are agreeing to the Careers Wales Terms of Service and Privacy policy

3.Personal Details

Forgotten your Password?

To reset your password please fill in the following fields for verification.

Cannot find a user with the given username
You will shortly recieve an e-mail to reset your password
Or Cancel to close

Temporary Password

You have been assigned a temporary password, please enter a new password.

Cannot find a user with the given username
Please enter your new password and confirm it.
The passwords entered did not match.
Please signal that you agree to the terms and conditions.
Please enter a valid email address.
That email address already exists, please choose another.
An error occurred.
Your password has been successfully changed

Please enter your email address, this may be used to reset your password if you have forgotten it:

Or Cancel to close

Your password has been successfully changed, please close this modal window and login with your new password.