What is a CV?
A CV (Curriculum Vitae), or résumé, is a document that you need to give or send to a company if you would like to apply for a job. It should include details of your education and employment
history as well as your skills, qualifications and abilities (remember, you need to try to sell yourself in your CV!)
What information should I include in my CV?
A CV should include information relevant to the job you are applying for. Before you start writing your CV, read the job advert carefully so you know exactly which requirements they are looking for. It is very important to structure your CV well and use headings so the person reading it can find information quickly. You can use the following headings
Include your name, address, telephone number and email address.
You do not usually need to include your date of birth,nationality or a photograph of yourself if you are applying for a job in the UK (check if the job advert asks for these
though). You could also include a short personal profile to introduce yourself and list your main skills and experience relevant to the job you are applying for
Start with your current job (if you have one) and work backwards through the other jobs you’ve had. For each job, include the name of the company, the location of the company (e.g. London, UK), your position in the company and the dates you worked there (if it is your current job, you can write ‘May 2013 – present’) For each job, include a short outline of your role,responsibilities and skills used, highlighting any that are particularly relevant to the job you are applying for.
Use short sentences that are to the point and highlight your key skills (make them bold).
Use action words which will have more of an impact, e.g.developing, leading, planning,organising. Don’t leave any gaps in your employment history. Always
explain why you did not work during that time.
Education and qualifications
Include your university qualifications and any otherqualifications you have (e.g. exams you took at school).If you are still studying, make this clear and say when your course is going to end.
Skills and Achievements
List any relevant skills you have, e.g.languages and language certificates, ITskills (which computer programmes you can use), driving license. Include details of courses or training you
have completed. Write about other professional achievements or awards you have received. Make sure they are relevant to the job you are applying for though
Write a short list of your interests outside of work. Include a range of different interests and try not to include too many hobbies that you do alone (the employer might think you do not have people skills). Try to include hobbies that are relevant to the job or show that you have additional skills such as working in a team,planning or organising.
Many people do not add the details of referees to their CV. You can write “References available on request” and give details at a later stage. If you want to include referees, it is usual to write the names and contact details of two people who know you well, either current/previous employers or a tutor/teacher Before you add their details to your CV, make sure they are
happy to give a reference for you.
At the end
- Check your CV very carefully and make sure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. If employers see these they will usually discard the CV straight away.
- If you are a non-native speaker and you’re studying at an English language school, ask your teacher if they can check it for you before you send.
- Make sure your CV is not too long. It should be a maximum of two sides of A4 paper.
- Your CV should be relevant to the job you are applying for and show appropriate skills.
- Do not copy sentences from the job advert you are applying to
- Make sure your CV is easy to read.
- Use a simple font and lay it out clearly with headings.