This article has been adapted from the Careers Service’s CV Guidelines handout, which will be available from the Careers Stand at the Refresher’s fair tomorrow in the Gateway building from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm – come and say hello!
You use your CV to show employers what knowledge, skills and experience you have. An effective CV will not only show your current abilities, but demonstrate the potential you have to be successful in a working environment.
How long should a CV be?
Ideally, a CV should be no longer than two sides of A4. CVs that exceed this may not be read to the end or at all. For part time work (during studies), a one page CV would be sufficient.
Do I need to include a personal profile?
It’s not essential to produce one, but some may like to use this as an opening introduction. If you do decide to include one it should ideally be no more than four lines long and follow immediately after your personal details at the top of your CV. Personal summaries should introduce who you are, what skills you can offer and generally what you are looking for in your next role.
Do I list work experience or education first?
This depends on the type of CV you are creating and how much work experience you have. If you have recently graduated and don’t have much work experience it is probably best to start with your education. For part time work, employers will be looking at what key skills and experiences you have in a working environment (customer service skills, teamwork etc)
Should I include my interests?
It’s not necessary to include interests in a CV. If you do, use them as examples of specific achievements, such as teamwork roles, personal achievements, leadership roles etc.
How should I present my CV?
Ideally, aim to put your strongest and most recent qualification/experience towards the beginning of your CV, where it will be noticed by an employer. Remember that the information on your CV needs to be readable to anyone accessing it.
Avoid cramping your CV with irrelevant information. Instead, concentrate on what important aspects need to included, backing it up with experience. It is always important to remember where you are applying and for which position. Keep your information short, snappy and to the point.
It is important to have your CV proof read for spelling/ grammar mistakes by someone you trust. Bad spelling or computer typo’s can often put an employer off instantly by demonstrating lack of care/attention. It is not necessary at this point to provide details of references, but ideally you should inform that references can be made available on request.