FAQ Education and Training

  • 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 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.
  • 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’.
  • Should I put my education first or my employment first?
  • Have you recently left school, training, college or university? We suggest that you put your education first followed by your employment or work experience. 
  • If you have worked then it would be usual to put your employment first, with the most recent job at the top.
  • 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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