Writing a CV


2 min read

Building a CV What to include in a CV Writing a cover letter

Your CV is a tool to impress potential employers by showcasing why you're right for a job. Keep it short, honest, and tailored to the job you're applying for. Your CV should contain your contact details, a personal statement, your skills, work history, education, personal interests, and referees. Remember, quality checks for spelling and grammar are crucial. A cover letter should accompany your CV, introducing you to the employer and emphasising how your skills and experiences align with the job. Write this formally, target it to the job, and ensure it's free of grammar or spelling errors.

Your CV is your first chance to make an impression on your potential employer, so it's important that it stands out from the crowd.

It should showcase the reasons why you would be right for the job, and make the employer want to know more about you.

Building a CV

A CV should be relatively short, 2-3 pages at the most. Be positive when writing it, but keep it honest and accurate - you should be prepared to back up any points you make with facts and references.

Make sure your CV is tailored to the job you are applying for and include a tailored covering letter for your prospective employer too.

When you've pulled all of your information together, make sure you check the spelling and grammar. Getting someone else to check it for you is a good idea.

A great resource for writing your CV is the Careers New Zealand CV builder.

What to include in a CV

Your current contact details: make sure your email address is professional, sk8terh8ter@nzmail.com might not be the impression you want to give a potential employer, john.smith@nzmail.com is simple.

Personal statement: tell the employer why you are a great fit for the role. Keep it relevant and specific to the role you are applying for, 3-4 sentences at the most. You might include:

  • Your current employment or education situation
  • Why you want the job
  • Your reason for wanting to change jobs
  • Your career aspirations and how you plan to achieve them.

Skills: show any transferable skills gained from previous employment as well as skills from training, education, or your personal life.

Work history: start with your current role and work backwards. If you have a gap in your history, be prepared to explain it.

Education and training: start with your latest achievements and work backwards, keeping it relevant. As well as school or university courses, you might have Primary ITO courses, DairyNZ training, first aid training and driving licence details to include.

Personal interests: include your key interests but don't go overboard. Employers often take your interests into account when thinking about your fit with the farm culture and community.

Referees and references: think carefully about who you include as a referee, they are a significant part of an employer's assessment of you. Name people you have worked directly in the recent past, or would know you from your time in the role. Avoid using direct family.

Writing a cover letter

A cover letter introduces you to an employer, lets them know why you want the job and how your experience and skills match what they are looking for. A well-written cover letter gives your application an opportunity to stand out.

  • The tone should be professional, without any slang, jargon or technical language.
  • The letter should be targeted, so written specifically for the position or job you are applying for and should describe any relevant skills and experience you can bring.
  • Cover letters are normally set out like formal letters, addressed to the right person and structured appropriately. It should be no longer than one page.
  • Check the letter for any grammar or spelling mistakes.

For tips on writing a cover letter with examples and templates visit careers nz

Last updated: Sep 2023

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