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, and is a vital part of your job hunt; a well written CV can make the difference between getting an interview and not being considered for the role.
What does a good CV look like?
- Your CV should be accurate, targeted to the job you’re applying for, and not too long (ideally no more than 2 pages/sides of A4).
- A good CV gives the facts required and conveys an impression of what you’d be like as an employee.
- Present it simply and clearly so it’s easy to read, engaging and looks professional.
What to include in a CV
Your CV should include:
- your basic contact details: including a contact telephone number and email address. If you've a LinkedIn profile which you’ve developed to support your job search, you may also want to include the direct web address to your profile.
- your education and qualifications which may include:
- degree subject and class (attained or expected). 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
- A levels/Highers or vocational qualifications, giving dates and grades, summarised
- GCSE/O levels/Standard grades
- 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.
You don’t have to include…
- your age
- your marital status
- your health status
- your nationality
- your full address details (especially if your CV is publically accessible for example on job boards)
- school and university addresses, or examining boards
- minor qualifications unrelated to the post applied for.