Your CV

Your CV should demonstrate your self-awareness, articulate your career aim, and market your skills, experiences and knowledge.  Getting it right is much harder than many people think! 

Some employers ask for a CV as part of the application process.  You can also use your CV to make speculative enquiries  to employers.  Target it individually to each application and update it continually throughout your career.

 Top tips

  • Be concise; employers typically spend less than a minute looking at your CV.
  • A graduate CV should normally be 2 single-sided pages of A4.
  • Use good quality white paper and a single, business-like font (eg Arial).
  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation are of great importance; mistakes show carelessness, a lack of motivation and make you look unprofessional.  Don’t rely solely on a spellchecker on your PC.
  • Layout should be neat, organised and consistent, with clear bold headings.  Use bullet points to list information about what your jobs/courses involve and to demonstrate your skills profile. Start the points with active verbs where possible.  It is easier and quicker for employers to assimilate the main information about you in this form than in paragraphs. 
  • Be selective and highlight your best qualities relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Send with a covering letter on the same paper and in the same font.

To find out more

  • Have a look at our quick overview of what to include in your CV.
  • Download our leaflet your cv (PDF 324K, Downloads file) for much more advice and sample CVs.
  • Book an appointment with a Careers Adviser to get constructive feedback on your CV.
  • Come to the Careers Centre to see our reference books on CVs or to watch our DVD

There are lots of websites which give you advice on CVs.  Here are some we recommend:

Also watch a video of the AGR Chief Executive (Association of Graduate Recruiters) giving CV advice on the Graduate Recruitment Bureau website.

Warnings!

  • We do not recommend that you pay any organisation to compile your CV for you or give you feedback on your CV.
  • Avoid using online templates to produce your CV; it always shows!