What to include in your CV

Although there is no standard format for a CV, there are some elements which are usually included.

  • Name - use the name you would expect the employer to call you (ie no need for middle name) as the title of your CV.
  • Personal details – address, landline and mobile phone number, email address.  Use a business-like email address.  No need for age, marital status or gender (unless your gender is not clear from your name). 
  • Career aim – it is useful to write a brief statement of your career aim and brief summary of related qualifications, experience and skills (3 or 4 lines only).   Avoid long 'Personal Statements'  that claim lots of exemplary characteristics without any evidence. 
  • Education – most recent first, with more detail on the most recent.  Give some detail about your degree, not just its name, eg three or four of the most relevant modules, special areas of study, skills you’ve developed.
  • Employment – most recent first.  List skills you demonstrated in each job.  Include unpaid work.
  • Skills and achievements – include activities and experiences that are relevant to an employer because they demonstrate your skills and qualities.  These can be gained through education, employment and interests.  Match your skills to skills employers want.  If you are not sure whether to include something or not, ask yourself why it might be relevant to an employer.  If you can't think of a reason, leave it out.
  • References – give names and contact details of two people, preferably a tutor and an employer.  Make sure you keep in touch with your referees about the applications you are making so that they can provide prompt and relevant references. 

Avoid simply listing (in any section) skills or qualities without giving any evidence for your claims.

See our guide Your CV your cv (PDF 324K, Downloads file) for more information and examples.