A CV, also known as a Curriculum Vitae, is a document that you need when applying for jobs. Outside of the UK, it is called a résumé. A CV includes your contact information, past employment, skills, and references. It’s important to note that employers in the UK will also request a cover letter to be submitted alongside your CV.
What is a CV and why is it important?
A CV, (curriculum vitae), is essentially a summary of your professional qualifications and experiences. It’s typically used when applying for job opportunities, so it’s important to make sure that your CV accurately reflects your skills and experiences. A well-written CV can set you apart from other applicants and make it easier for potential employers to see why you would be a good fit for the position. Additionally, a CV can also provide valuable insight into a candidate’s work history and career trajectory. In some cases, a CV may even be requested by networking contacts or potential collaborators in academia or creative industries. As you can see, having an updated and polished CV can open up countless opportunities for professional growth.
Employers will receive hundreds of CVs, so yours must stand out. In this article, we will be giving you tips on how to create the perfect CV and land that job!
How Long Should I Make my CV?
Let’s start with the length of a CV. Your CV should be no longer than two sides of A4. Depending on how much you can include, and the type of job you’re applying for, CVs will vary in length. If you have not yet had a lot of experience, your CV might only be one sidelong. On the other hand, if you’ve had a few different jobs, your CV should be more detailed.
Also, don’t ramble to make the document appear longer. Employers will notice this and not be impressed.
What should I include in my CV?
Here is everything that your CV should contain, in the proper order:
- Your Contact Details – this includes your full name, address, contact number, email, and date of birth. Some jobs may also ask for a photograph of you, but this is unusual. Make sure to use a professional email address.
- Personal Statement – This is a brief summary of your career goals and what you can offer to the new job. It’s a way to sell yourself to the employer and give them a positive, hardworking impression of you. This statement shouldn’t be more than two paragraphs long.
- Past Education – here you can list the institutions you’ve been educated at and the dates you studied there. You should also include your qualifications and the grade you were given for each.
- Relevant Work Experience – you should write your work experience in reverse chronological order, with your most recent experience first. You should include your job title, responsibilities, and how long you were employed at each place.
- Skills – You can talk about the skills you learnt in previous work and relate them to the new job. For example, if you previously worked as a receptionist, and are applying for an admin/office job, you could talk about the organisation and bookkeeping you will be bringing to the table.
- Hobbies/Interests – Having other interests besides work makes you a more well-rounded person, and ultimately a stronger job candidate. You can include hobbies such as swimming, playing an instrument, or painting. If you have won any awards for hobbies, also mention this as it will impress employers.
- References – a CV with no references will likely be ignored. Employers need the peace of mind of hiring someone that has positive references from previous work. These references should only be people you have worked for. You should include their name, place of work, and work number/email address. Before including someone as a reference in your CV, you should ask their permission.
More Useful Tips
Finally, here are some extra tips:
- Use an editing app such as Grammarly to proofread your CV. Showing your CV to a teacher or a friend would also be useful. There should be no grammar or spelling errors in the document as this looks unprofessional.
- Before writing your CV, do some research on the company as this will help you to understand the company you’re applying for and tailor your CV to fit the role.
- Use spacing and subheadings to professionally format your CV, otherwise, it will look messy.
- Don’t lie on your CV as you will likely be found out, and it could cost you the job!
Read more: CV Guidance & Help