Other UK sites

Your CV

Make sure you're as good on paper as you are in person

Having an effective CV will more often than not determine whether an employer like AXA decides to progress your application to interview. You may be the best or most suitable candidate for a role; but unless your CV clearly reflects these skills and experiences then you risk not being shortlisted.

Like a lot of large companies, we often receive a large number of applications for our positions, so choosing the most relevant CVs for interview is typically based on how clear your experience matches our requirements.

We understand that putting your CV together can be a daunting task but it’s vital that you use your CV to sell yourself, your skills and your experience.

There is no definitive right or wrong approach to compiling a CV and there are hundreds of websites that offer advice, guidance and templates to assist you. We have however provided some recommendations that will help show your skills and experience in the best possible light.

General

  • Try to use a standard/clean typeface and try to avoid using pictures.
  • Make sure that your CV is clearly laid out with all the information in a logical order using relevant subheadings (see content section below).
  • There are no set rules governing the length of your CV, but try and find a balance of ensuring all the relevant information is displayed whilst keeping the reader interested. 1-2 pages for more junior positions and 2-3 pages for more senior positions are considered average.
  • Please ensure you use a spell checker.
  • Follow all instructions on the job advertisement.
  • Apply on time and preferably early - some companies will close roles early if they receive a high number of applications.
  • Try to customise your CV for each job you apply for.

Content

After your name, address and contact details, start off with a strong profile about yourself and your abilities. You should give the reader a brief paragraph or two which gives insight into who you are and the range of skills and experience you can bring to the role. Keep it short and objective – and make sure you can back up the statements at an interview.

After this, put in your career history. Start with your current or most recent employment and ensure you provide the following details:

  • Job title.
  • The dates you have held this position.
  • The key tasks and responsibilities of this role.
  • Some of your achievements. Quantify these with precise facts and figures, e.g. managed a team of five, prepared monthly sales reports, managed a budget of £xMill, etc.

The length of detail you provide on previous positions will depend on how many roles you’ve had in your career and the relevance of the skills and experience in those roles in relation to the positions you apply for – there is no need to give detailed specifics about a role you did 20 years ago if it has no relevance to the role you are applying for now!

If the more historic roles in your career have limited/no relevance to future opportunities then you may want to think about writing “Previous work history available on request” or “1975-1992 – Various” or something similar.

If you’ve only had a short working career, it would be wise to focus on the commercial experience you’ve had so far, as well as providing more in-depth information regarding your academic and/or outside of work achievements.

There’s no need to explain why you want to leave your current employer or why you have left previous positions as this will be a likely topic of discussion at interview.

Following your employment history, provide details of your education, qualifications, interests/personal details and references.

It might sound obvious, but always be truthful. Never try to smudge dates and jobs to hide periods of unemployment. The most basic of checks will expose this and may ruin your chances of getting the job.