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How to write a CV and ace your applications!

employability

Writing a CV can be tough, especially if you've never done it before. We've got a resource to help make the CV writing process easier so you can ace your applications!

Where do I start?

Writing a CV can be much easier when you prepare beforehand. We suggest making a list of anything you think might be relevant. This can include previous jobs, volunteering, and any qualifications you have. Doing this will help you see what experience you've got and help you to tailor your experience to the requirements of the job role you're applying for.

If you've never written a CV before and don't know where to start, then using a CV builder/template may be a good idea until you become more experienced in CV writing. The University's Career 360 service has created a handy CV builder to help you get started.

Generally, your CV shouldn't be longer than 2 sides of A4. It should be well written, follow a clear structure, and be concise so you don't risk losing the recruiter's attention.

Try adapting your CV to each job role you apply for. You don't need to write a new CV for each job application but, try to tailor it to the job role by highlighting specific qualifications and experience you might have that would benefit that role and make you stand out from other applicants.

What should I include on my CV?

Personal details

It may sound obvious, but many people forget to include this information. Your full name, email address, contact telephone number, and your home address. Display this information clearly at the top of the page. This is also a good place to add a link to your LinkedIn account if you have one.

Your personal statement

This is essential to stand out from the crowd. A personal statement is a short description of who you are, what you have to offer, and what you are looking for. Aim to keep this short and within a paragraph.

Work experience

For many students, writing their first CV means they will be applying for their first job. Don't worry if this is you! Work experience doesn't just include previous jobs, if you have completed a work experience placement during your school years this could be included. You could also include any volunteering opportunities you've taken part in, and this can help you stand out from the crowd. If you are including job history then make sure to include the name of your employer, the address of your workplace, the dates you worked there, and a general overview of your job role and the skills you used.

Education and qualifications

In this section you should state the schools/colleges you attended and any qualifications and grades you achieved whilst there. If this section is stronger than your work experience section, then it may be a good idea to place an emphasis on this.

Hobbies and interests

This isn't always a necessary section however sharing relevant hobbies and interests can help you stand out. Employers like to see people taking initiative and it's always good to showcase your personality and interests.

To find out more about CV writing, check out these useful links:

The University have complied a resource that explains how to write and lay out your CV.

Prospects have a handy page full of CV templates and examples for different provisions so you can tailor your CV to specific roles and sectors.

Save The Student have written a guide to help you get started.