Take some time to ‘brain-dump’ before you start crafting your CV
Write down any and every job role or work experience placement you’ve had, all of your skills and assets, anything at all that could be worthwhile including. By having all of this information noted down in front of you, you’ll be able to focus on curating a CV that really showcases yourself; without worrying that you’ve forgotten to include something.
Think about the structure of your CV
You can find examples of typical features to include on this page, but there’s plenty of room for flexibility. Traditional CVs tend to be arranged chronologically (in date order, emphasising time frames), but for applicants who have gaps in their chronology due to chronic illness, an alternative format may be preferable. Graduates may prefer an academic CV that’s led by qualifications and achievements, whilst others may prefer a skills-based CV showcasing their transferable skills and how they’ve demonstrated them in real life environments. Tips for crafting these more bespoke CVs, as well as other examples, can be found on this page.
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your health condition in your CV
You are never obligated to disclose a disability, but many applicants choose to refer to their illness in their personal profile or in relation to a specific role or experience. Chronic illnesses often become an intrinsic part of who we are, and living with a long-term condition can ideally demonstrate some of the skills you’re referring to; skills that may make you an asset to an organisation. Don’t ever feel as though you have to conceal your illness – your lived experiences of the challenges this can bring may well give you the edge over other applicants.
Proofread. Always proofread
Thoroughly check for any pesky mistakes or spelling errors in what you’ve written, and then ask others to look over your work too. Often when we’ve read through our work so many times we become slightly oblivious to small errors, so seeking opinions and feedback from others is incredibly valuable. You may also find it helpful to read what you’ve written out loud, to see how the language flows.
Make the most of your cover letter
Many job applications request a cover letter alongside your CV, and this is your opportunity to really give a sense of who you are to the employer or recruiter. Think critically about what information would best be placed in your CV as opposed to a cover letter, and vice versa. Even if you didn’t want to disclose any illness experiences in your CV, doing so in your cover letter may feel like more of a natural way of acknowledging your condition.
And there we have it: we hope these tips for writing a CV come in helpful, and happy writing!