Very often I struggle to establish just who the candidate is that I am dealing with.  I find it difficult to see who I am considering for the position due to the lack of information provided.  In my opinion the first section of a CV should be dealing with personal details.  This information is critical in understanding who the candidate is and and helpful in getting to know the candidate.  On many occasions do I have to scroll through the CV just to get a contact telephone number and an email address when I need to respond to a candidate.  If I can see all this information at a glance and it is on the first page it helps a lot.  So, I would like to see a section calledPERSONAL DETAILS and containing the following details:

  • Full names
  • Surname
  • Name known by
  • Date of birth
  • Your residential area/permanent location where you live
  • Your current working location
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Marital status
  • Home language and other languages spoken
  • Divers licence
  • Health status
  • Criminal record
  • Notice period/availability
  • Contact details (this includes a contact telephone number and a valid email address)

When I have these details in front of me and it is in the first section of your CV I immediately know who the individual is that I am dealing with.  The idea is surely not to discriminate against any candidate applying but helps me to form a picture in my mind whom I will be considering for the position.  It provides me of a full picture and removes the burden placed on me to search through a CV for relevant information.  As a candidate you will be surprised just how many CV’s are received by me with little or no personal details provided. Imagine working through between 800 and 1000 emails containing CV’s little or no information about the candidates applying for positions.

It will also be very helpful and assist if you could add a professional photo of yourself on the cover page of the CV.  I always find this very professional if I can actually see the individual and then have a look at the personal details of the candidate.

My advice in this section is to take your CV and have a look to see if it meets these requirements.  Let me stress that this is my preference and the way I would like to see the CV structured.  Note that many recruiters will take your CV and redraft it in their formats when presented to a client.  If you have provided all the relevant information it makes it easier and speeds up the process.

Remember, I am always looking forward to receiving your comments and questions on the topics I post or other issues that you would like me to address.