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, 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; 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.