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CV and Interview Skills

You can ask our advisers for help with CV writing and letter writing, as well as guidance on interview techniques.

Just contact us on 0800 707 6384 or email

CV Advice

What an employer is looking for in a cv:

  • Name and contact details
  • Sensible email address
  • No National Insurance Number
  • Date of birth is optional
  • Postal address is optional too

Personal Profile
An employer spends an average of 20 seconds looking at a CV. Make the personal profile paragraph short, sharp and to the point, stating why you are sending this CV: I am currently seeking an apprenticeship in etc… If you say you have excellent communication skills back it up with something you have achieved or took part in, for example: public speaking in school or part time work in a customer facing role.

Key Skills/Achievements
An employer doesn’t want to know what you achieved at primary school, make it relevant to the past 2/3 years. Include things like DofE, NCS, Sports Captain, prefect and winning any awards.

If you are 16-18, put education before work experience on your cv. List your qualifications with English and Maths first and then list other subjects alphabetically, with the most recent achieved on top.


  • Any employment is relevant e.g. paper round and baby sitting.
  • Think about the skills that were gained and how they might be useful in the role you are applying for.

Work Experience

  • Same as above
  • Try to remember exact dates

Hobbies and Interests
Again, this should be short and sharp, think about hobbies which enable you to evidence teamwork, leadership, creativity or helping others.


Ask people if they are happy to act as a referee before adding any personal details

How to prepare for an interview

Preparation is key!
✓ Research the company (values, what they do, turnover etc.)
✓ Dress appropriately
✓ Read the job description
✓ Prepare some questions
✓ Plan your journey
✓ Check the name and job title of the person interviewing you

What are your skills?
During your interview you have the opportunity to highlight your key skills. These can be things such as…
✓ Communication skills
✓ Teamwork
✓ Leadership
✓ Influencing
✓ Problem solving
✓ Achieving results

Can you give an example of when you worked well within a team?
The Employer is most likely going to ask you to elaborate on your skills with a question like “Can you give an example of when you worked well within a team?”. This is where we like to recommend the STAR technique.

STAR technique
✓ Situation (Describe the event or situation that you were in)
✓ Task (Explain the task you had to complete)
✓ Action (Describe the specific actions you took to complete the task)
✓ Result (Close with the result of your efforts)


Useful CV and Interview resources:

Essex Opportunities
Find information about careers, finding a job, and support available to help you secure employment. Take a look at our toolkit with helpful tips about writing a CV, interview tips, applications and much more.

National Careers Service
How to write a CV, how to write a cover letter, filling in an application, interview tips, common interview questions, create a LinkedIn profile, Virtual internships and more.

Helps you explore careers and education pathways and apply for opportunities. Personal Development opportunities to improve yourself and your skills includes CV writing tips, preparing for an interview, work experience and skills builder.

ACL Essex
Online course designed to support you with your CV writing.

BBC Bitesize Careers
Support with job applications, cover letters, CV's and interviews.
CV Quiz - Has your CV got what it takes?

Jobseeking tips, CV templates, personal statements and interview techniques.