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What makes a good CV? How to write a CV (curriculum vitae)

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.
  • a link to your LinkedIn profile if you have one

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.
  • a photo of yourself
  • references or referee details

Get tips from employers through the Video Hub

Browse videos from experienced hiring managers and career coaches and find out how to write a CV based on real-life employer views on the Video Hub. You have access to the Video Hub through your OU account if you’re a current OU student or completed your study within the last three years.

Signing into Abintegro

If you’re currently studying with the Open University or have completed your study within the last three years, you can access Abintegro using your OU account.

When signing in you’ll be asked to enter your username, which is either your OU computer username (OUCU) or the email address we use to communicate with you, and your usual OU password. You can find your contact email address and your OUCU in your Contact details on StudentHome.

If you meet the criteria above and are having problems accessing Abintegro, please contact the Computing Helpdesk.

If you have an OU account but have not yet started your studies, or if you completed your study over three years ago, you are not eligible to access the Abintegro platform.

If you're not sure how to sign-in, see  Help with signing into OU systems.

Last updated 4 months ago