CV tips and links

Presentation

  • Keep it short: your CV should be no longer than two pages.
  • Use a simple layout, with headings, bullet points, and perhaps a table to show your qualifications.
  • If you are not sure how to set up a word processor document, use a CV template. Your software program probably has a CV template. And you can find CV templates on the internet – see the links at the bottom of this page.
  • Check your writing carefully for sense, spelling, and grammar. Do not rely on a spell-checking program. Ask someone else to double-check your CV for you.

Adapting your CV

Once you have written your first CV, you can adapt it for other jobs. It is important to do this, so that you can show the employer why you are the right person for the job. Make sure you save copies of the different versions of your CV. You can use the information again when you apply for similar jobs in the future.

Tip

Adapt your CV for different jobs. Ask yourself: what skills are most important to this employer? How can I show I have them?

If you are replying to a job advert or have more detailed information about a job, read everything carefully. List the important details: job title, experience, skills, qualifications, and so on. Also find out as much as you can about the company and what it does, using the internet or your local library.

Which do you think are the most important things the employer is looking for? Now look at your CV and pick out your best examples of how to meet what the employer wants. You might have to take out some things and add new ones.

Be positive about your achievements – but be honest. If the employer is looking for a list of things that you know nothing about, then this probably is not the right job for you.

See the internet links at the bottom of this page for more tips on how to write a good CV.

Sending your CV

If a job advert asks for a CV, make sure you follow the instructions in the job advert and include all the information the advert asks for.

Always send your CV with a covering letter to say which job you are applying for and where you saw the advert. Also say why you are interested in working for the company and mention special strengths and experiences that are relevant to the job. Include your contact details in the covering letter.

Print out your CV and covering letter on good-quality paper (A4). Check them again before you send them. Have you included all the information? Is everything spelled correctly? Does it look neat? Don’t forget to put a stamp on the envelope if you post your CV.

Useful websites

 
CVrite
Free careers tools for jobseekers. These include advice and tips on CV writing, and a step-by-step online CV builder.
National Careers Service - CV tips
Some useful tips from the National Careers Service.
Monster – CV templates
The Monster site is mainly aimed at adults, but has plenty of general information for everyone. This page on the site has lots of CV templates for you to choose from. The headings on some of the templates may be different from the CV example we have given, so you can choose which best fits the type of job you are applying for. The site also has a lot of extra information about writing a CV.
Prospects - CVs and covering letters
This site is aimed at graduates, but has general information that applies to all jobseekers. It explains what to include in a CV and what to leave out. There are also different types of sample CVs for you to look at.
Reed career advice – CV and covering letters
This website belongs to an employment agency. It is mostly aimed at adults, but it has helpful advice and tools that can help you write a good CV. It includes a CV builder tool and templates (sign-up needed).

Last updated 26 May, 2017