The first impression potential employers have of you is your CV. We all know what goes into one, but what is the best practice? What goes first? Here we share our Top 5 Tips for the best way to structure a CV.

1. Start with the basics. Your name, address, post code, contact number and email should be right at the top. Without this information then an employer can't get back to you.

2. Your personal statement should come after, this is a chance for you to really sell yourself. For example,

I'm a highly dedicated and passionate person who can work well within a team. I pride myself on delivering exceptional customer service and take time with customers to ensure all their needs are met'.

Your personal statement ideally should be a short paragraph and if the personal statement is lacking, an employer may not want to carry on reading your CV. If you are struggling, think about your strengths. What are you good at? Have you got good time keeping? Can you work to deadlines?

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3. Work experience and qualifications will be the main body of your CV. Don't panic if you don't have much work experience! Think about work experience you have done in school or any volunteering work? Think about anything else that you could add to your CV, have you won any awards? Are you a house captain or a prefect? 

4. Interests and Hobbies, the easy bit! What do you like doing in your spare time? Swimming, Football, Netball, Gaming? Or even socialising or going to the cinema! Employers will want to know more about YOU and what you enjoy doing. Maybe you are part of a club or a volunteer with a local charity?

5. Last of all, references are an important part of a CV. A reference can't be your mum or your dad, or your best mate. A reference ideally is someone who you have done work experience with or a previous employer. Ideally, employers like to see two, including their address and contact details. 

With all of this in place your CV will be clear, structured and show off your top skills. You can put these tips into action by searching for the latest apprenticeship vacancies. The next step is to master your interview skills, don't worry, read our Top Tips for Interview Success.

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