When applying for a job you will often be asked to submit a CV and/or be required to complete an application.


What is a CV? 

CV stands for Curriculum Vitae. In some countries it is often referred to as a Resume. It is a document that summarises information about you, your education, experience and achievements.

A CV is your chance to highlight to a prospective employer what you have completed and what your capabilities may be due to your experience and education.


What needs to be in a CV?

You must tailor your CV to the role that you are applying for, so ensure you read through a job advert and job description as well as a person specification to see what type of candidate they are looking for.

Consider what skills and experience you have that matches what a prospective employer is looking for.

Ensure you detail:

  • Your name and contact details, including a phone number and email address.
  • Your education providers, qualifications gained and dates of achievement.
  • Your previous employment; including the name of your employer(s), the job role(s) you carried out, including dates of employment, and a summary of the responsibilities you had.
  • Training courses you have completed.
  • Any volunteering experiences you have undertaken.


What should a CV look like?

A CV shouldn’t really be any longer than two pages.

There is no set structure or layout for a CV, that is up to you. Although it is best to start with your contact details so an employer knows how to get in touch.

It is helpful to list your work experience and education history in chronological order starting with the most recent first.

You may want to add a short introductory personal profile, a few lines explaining a little bit more about your skills and what you are hoping to achieve.

If you are applying for your first job and have no employment experience, highlight the skills you may have learnt through:

  • Work experience or work placements
  • Internships
  • Volunteering
  • Part-time roles


Do I need to add referees?

An application process may ask you to nominate referees to provide professional or character references about you, particularly from a previous employer.  You can add a couple of these to your CV, together with their contact details, after seeking their permission or you can simply add ‘references available upon request’.


Top tips:

  • Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for.
  • Keep it to two pages.
  • Use bullet points to keep the information brief and easy to read.
  • Include your contact details.
  • Use words to describe your experiences such as developed, managed, organised.
  • Check your spelling.
  • Promote yourself!


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