Curriculum Vitae

Your CV and covering letter is your chance to convince an employer that you should be interviewed. It is important to note that there is no one "model" CV that will work in all circumstances, for all people, with all employers. However the following points may help you get started.

General guidelines

  • It is essential to focus the CV at a particular vacancy and employer.
  • The standard length of a CV is two pages, some employers prefer a one page CV.
  • Be consistent in chronology - ie if education is listed from 1st to most recent, so should work experience, and vice-versa.
  • Use good quality paper (white A4 paper is usually the most appropriate option).
  • Ensure that spelling, grammar and punctuation is flawless.
  • Your CV should give a comprehensive picture of your achievements, talents and experiences, with a particular focus on recent activities.

What should appear in a CV?

Personal details.

  • Full name, address, telephone number and email.
  • It is not necessary to give your date of birth or indicate your marital status.

Education

  • Focus on your recent studies.
  • Include details of relevant courses and option choices.
  • Title and details of any relevant dissertations and projects.
  • Any period spent abroad.
  • Keep details of school and college qualifications brief.

Work experience
Employers like applicants to have a contact with life outside education and it is important to show employers your willingness to work as well as study.

  • Include vacation and part time work, paid or unpaid, as well as full time work.
  • While any work experience relevant to the job should have priority, you should also include low level and routine work.
  • Detail the name of the employer and job title.
  • Write a brief description of your main responsibilities.
  • Show what skills you developed through the work experience.

Other skills and abilities.
Any relevant skills, eg languages, IT, driving licence.

Interests and activities
This should not be simply a listing of memberships of clubs, hobbies etc, but can be expanded to include relevant information especially positions of responsibility held.

  • Hall rep, course rep, university clubs or societies.
  • Detail what the role involved, your responsibilities and how you gained from it.

References
It is usual to give two references. One should be an academic reference. For the second use an employer or other person who has experience of your abilities and motivation. Make sure you ask their permission, and let them know what type of positions you are applying for and when.

 

There is also information on writing CVs at the following websites:

Prospects

TARGETjobs

Vitae

 

Updated on 17 April 2014