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CVs: an overview

A CV (curriculum vitae) is a brief account of your education, qualifications, skills and work based experience, used mainly when applying for a job. Your CV is your first opportunity to tell an employer what you can do. A well written CV can make the difference between getting an interview and not being considered for the role.

A good CV should:

  • be factual and accurate
  • be targeted to the job you're applying for
  • be short - ideally no more than 2 pages/sides of A4
  • convey an impression of what you'd be like as an employee
  • be easy to read, engaging and look professional.

What to include in a CV

You should include:

  • your contact telephone number, address and email address
  • your education and qualifications from school, college, university or vocational
  • your work experience (paid or unpaid), with responsibilities and achievements developed in these posts
  • your key or transferable skills
  • any additional relevant skills, such as language skills or specific IT skills.

It’s also useful to include a ‘personal profile’ or short paragraph highlighting your key skills and career aims to catch the eye of your potential employer.

If you've studied an Open degree, it can be helpful to list the modules you've studied to indicate the subject areas you've covered.

You don’t need to include:

  • your age
  • your marital status
  • your health status
  • your nationality
  • your full address details (especially if your CV is publicly accessible for example on job boards)
  • school and university addresses, or examining boards
  • minor qualifications unrelated to the post applied for.

Get tips from employers through the Abintegro Video Hub

On the Abintegro Video Hub you can browse videos from experienced hiring managers and career coaches and find out how to write a CV based on real-life employer views. Access the video hub using the following link. For help with signing into Abintegro see the information in the following section.

Signing into Abintegro

If you are a current OU student, recent graduate or alumni, you can sign in to Abintegro resources using your OU Microsoft Office 365 sign in details (your OU email address ending in and the password you use to sign in to the OU).

If you haven’t used your OU Microsoft Office 365 account before see Microsoft Office 365.

If you’re a new student you will need to wait for 5 days after your module has started before accessing Abintegro.

If you graduated or completed your study within the last three years and do not have a Microsoft Office 365 account, but would like to access Abintegro resources, please complete a request a graduate account form. Please allow 5-7 working days for a response.

Last updated 9 months ago