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How to structure your horticulture CV for maximum impact

Laura Slingo at TopCV shares advice on how to tailor your horticulture CV for maximum impact during your job search.

The structure of your CV is as equally important as the content. Here’s how you should go about structuring your horticulture CV to ensure it displays your most pertinent abilities to a prospective employer.

Name and contact details

The first section of your CV includes your name and contact details. Treat your name as the title of your CV, rather than the phrase ‘curriculum vitae’. Your forename and surname are enough detail too – recruiters don’t need to know your middle name as your CV isn’t an official government record, just a couple of pages about your career to help you land a job.

Your phone number and email address are essential contact details. If you still live at home with your parents or are a parent with children around, consider only listing your mobile number, rather than your landline too. You don’t want the wrong person to answer the phone and potentially jeopardise your chances of securing an interview.

Note that it’s no longer standard practice to include your full address on your CV. If you’d like to add your location, simply list your town and county of residence.

Personal profile

The next section is your personal profile, which is a short, punchy paragraph that introduces the prospective employer to where you are in your career, the most exceptional skills you can bring to the role, and your career goals.

You want to give the recruiter a short overview of your talent and reasons why you’re suitable for the role so that they continue reading your CV. Keep this section tailored to the job you’re applying for and avoid using too many buzzwords, such as ‘self-motivated’ and ‘extensive experience’, for maximum impact.

Employment history

Following your profile is your career summary. List your employment history in reverse chronological order (starting with your most recent role). You should do this because your latest position of employment is typically the high-point of your career where you have developed and deployed your most impressive range of skills. Therefore, it’s the job potential employers are most interested in.

For each position, include your employment dates, the company, your job title, a line about the role to show how you fit into the organisation, and bullet points detailing your duties and achievements.

As you progress through your employment history, you can reduce the amount of detail for each role. If a job is older than 10 years, you can cut it completely as your CV isn’t documentation of your entire career, just an overview of your best and most recent experience to prove why you’re a match for the job you’re applying for.

Education and qualifications

The final section of your CV details your education and qualifications. Like your work history, list your certificates in reverse chronological order, detailing the qualification, grade, institution, and year of achievement.

Bear in mind that it’s perfectly acceptable to group your compulsory education and your degree with other qualifications you have gained later in your career. Many job seekers assume you must keep these types of certificates separate, and it’s simply not necessary.

Any extras?

We have discussed the compulsory elements of a CV, but there is a range of additional sections you can add if you think they will make you more employable.

For example, you could introduce a core competencies section nearer the top of your CV that tells the recruiter about your horticultural abilities. You may also like to add hobbies and interests, awards, accreditations, or languages if relevant. Just remember not to add details for the sake of it. You have two A4 pages to make the sell, so list the most impressive abilities in your arsenal for maximum impact.

TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly-written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your dream job.

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