Tuesday, March 13, 2007

CVs: Education or experience - which comes first?

Hurrah - I've finally started writing my new job hunting book, 'Should I Tell the Truth?

One of the questions a job seeker once asked me was about the layout of her CV. She wanted to know what was current advice - to put your education first or your work experience first?

Education or work experience – I'd say that the answer very much depends. One of the absolute delights of writing a CV as opposed to filling out a standard application form is that you can design your CV to highlight whatever you like. However, the key rule in deciding what should go first is to think: What would most impress the employer?

You should always choose to order the sections on your CV depending entirely on whatever you think is most likely to get you the job
. For example, if you are a recent graduate with little work experience but a first class honours degree from a top university, you might want to lead with your education first. If you have better work experience to showcase, then lead with a section entitled Employment, Career History, or Work Experience – it doesn’t really matter what you call it.