What is a CV?
CV stands for curriculum vitae, which is Latin for ‘course of life. It is a summary of your experience, skills and education.
In the USA and Canada, it is known as a resume.
How long should a CV be?
A CV in the UK should be no longer than two A4 pages. Some CVs may be longer depending on your experience.
What should I include in my CV?
Your CV needs all relevant information to help an employer make the decision to employ you. You should include in your CV the following:
• Details: Include full name, address, mobile phone number and email address.
• Education: List and date all your education, placing the most recent first. Include any professional qualifications.
• References: At least two previous employers who can provide positive comments on your skills and experience
• Skills: The ability to work in a team, manage people, customer service skills, or specific IT skills. Try and emphasise the skills relevant to the position you are applying for.
• Experience: this can be internships, voluntary or previous jobs. Add the most recent/relevant positions and examples of tasks.
What should I leave out of my CV?
You should leave out the following information from your CV:
• CV: Don’t try using any fancy words like “Resume” you will not impress the employer. The term CV will suffice in the UK.
• Photo: Unless you’re applying for a job that specifically requires it.
• Date or place of birth: This is not necessary and can lead to identity theft. You will find that most on-line CVs (For security reasons) don’t even have a section for this.
• Hobbies: Don’t include hobbies. The employer will not be interested that you enjoy eating in resteraunts and walking in the lakes, so unless your hobbies are specifically related to the job you are applying for leave them out.
How do I write a good CV?
There are many ways to create an outstanding CV, but you should concentrate on these main points:
Grammar: There should be no mistakes in your CV. Use a spell checker and ask a friend to check over your CV when you have finished. Try and include as many active words as possible to increase your CVs impact. For example, you could include targeted words like ‘created’, ‘analysed’; and ‘devised’ to present yourself as a person that shows initiative.
• Presentation: Keep your CV neat and make sure it is easy on the eye. Bullet points should be used to tidy up any lists. Your choice of font can have more impact than you might think. The University of Kent careers service suggest using 10 point Verdana or Lucida Sans with a larger typeface for headings and sub-headings. You should always avoid Comic Sans.
• Paper: As daft as it sounds if you’re sending your CV through the post try and use coloured paper. This will get your CV noticed.
Use one of our built in CV templates to create a professional looking CV, or upload your CV to the site.