Putting together a winning CV

There are some basics you need to know when putting together your CV. We’ve listed the most important points to consider to help you craft a winning document to showcase your strengths and get you through to an interview.


  • Personal details
    Your full name and contact information, including your phone number and email address


  • Career objective or summary 
    Short statements to help you pitch yourself. Think about some of your key selling points and craft this into a short summary.


  • Education
    List your latest education experience first and work backwards, including courses or qualifications you’ve completed at university, or other institutions. It’s good to also include special areas of study, plus awards or other achievements. Only include your high school results if you were at school less than five years ago.


  • Work experience
    List your most recent jobs including the title of your position, the name and location of the company or organisation, and the dates you worked there. Under each job, use bullet points to give a brief summary of your responsibilities and achievements, highlighting your skills. You can also mention relevant internships and volunteer work here.


  • Skills, strengths or interests 
    List information that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for and include any professional memberships. Bullet points work best, as it means the reader can quickly see and digest the most the relevant information about you.


  • References
    You could include contact and company details for a former employer, manager, or an academic advisor if they agree to be your reference, or you can choose to write “references available on request”.


How long?

Short and to the point often works best. It should make a good impression at first glance. If you have less than 10 years’ experience, one or two pages is a good guide. Senior executives or academics tend to run to three or more pages.

What should it look like?

Neat and easy to read. Use headings, and bullet points and use only one or two fonts. Spelling and grammar are critical.

Quick start guide

If you want to get started straight away Careers NZ has an interactive tool guides you through creating a CV that employers have said appeals to them. Read here – https://www.careers.govt.nz/tools/cv-builder/