How to Write a Strong CV
What's a personal statement and how do I write one?
A personal statement is a brief, opening section in your CV that allows you to introduce yourself and your key skills or selling points, to a potential employer.
Try spending 2-3 sentences (max) introducing yourself professionally. Outline your point of difference over other potential candidates and/or your career goal or objective, and how this is relevant to the role you're applying for.
Avoid generic information, be authentic, and aim to write it with the recruiter in mind; many employers will recognise and respect your effort.
Do I need to include a photo in my CV?
It depends on the industry, and sometimes the company itself, but isn't normally compulsory. Most trade industries for instance don't care what you look like, but it can be beneficial or essential in people/customer-focused fields like retail, hospitality, tourism, or even healthcare.
If you're unsure, research the employer and see what's appropriate. Sometimes a friendly smile in a professional photo can go a long way.
What if I don't have any/much work experience?
Don't worry about it, you still have a lot to offer. Feeling under-qualified can be common with school leavers, parents returning to the workforce, or those who have health issues that have restricted their ability to look for a job.
Building a skills-based CV can help you to focus on your personality and capability, instead of just what you've done. If well-written, and catered to the specific job, the right employer will recognise your potential value.
Account for your weaknesses, but always focus on your strengths.
How long should my CV be?
1-2 pages is plenty in most cases. Entry-level jobs like fast food restaurants or supermarkets will often accept a single-page CV, as many will also provide application forms to ask key details.
Two pages is often enough to give a solid overview of your skills and experience, while encouraging you to be deliberate and purposeful with the information you choose to include.
Some high-level, specialist roles (or ones involving placements including nursing, teaching, and sport) will require more detail about your expertise and experience. In such cases employers may accept CVs three or more pages long, but always check before submitting your application.