Writing the perfect CV
Your CV is usually your first introduction to a prospective criminal justice services employer. Therefore, it needs to make a good impression. It is important that your CV is clear and easy to read, whilst remaining relevant to the job application. And if you are applying for a specialist offender healthcare or substance misuse role, you’ll need to be clear about the type of patients you have supported in previous jobs.
Here are some tips to help you produce a great CV.
Employers have very little time to read a CV, no matter how experienced you are. It’s important you strike a balance between providing enough information and readability, even if your CV is simply being submitted for one of our consultants to review.
Two, three pages max, is an acceptable length. If you find your CV is longer than this, look at the layout and look for places where you can say things in a more concise way. You could always install the free version of Grammarly on your computer. It automatically suggests ways you can make the same points with less words.
Clear sub-headings will divide your CV into logical sections. The most logical are personal information, education & training and professional experience. They will give the employer an outline of your expertise.
When writing your criminal justice CV, use a normal document in MS Word (or similar) and avoid using text boxes or tables. Avoid decorative fonts. We recommend using Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman in either 11 or 12 point.
Finally, we recommend that you save your CV as a Word document or a PDF.
This should include your full name, a contact telephone number and an email address.
Your email address should appear professional, so if it contains a nickname or is hard to remember, change it.
This section should be in chronological order, starting with your most recent qualification.
List your education and training with dates and the name/location of the university or training programme where you took the course. Be clear about any aspects of your education that are directly relevant to criminal justice.
This should also be in chronological order, starting with your most recent criminal justice employment.
For each job, state the job title, the employer, the dates you worked there and the location. Then provide a short summary explaining your primary duties and highlight any experience relevant to the role you are applying for.
Ask a friend
We would always recommend asking a friend or family member to read through your CV before you submit it. A fresh pair of eyes can often spot any spelling mistakes which you may have missed, and check that it makes sense.
If you are not sure how to write your CV or what experience to highlight for a job, your Sanctuary Criminal Justice consultant will be able to help and advise you.