Apply Online

CV & COVERING LETTER

A CV is a marketing document for your career just as a brochure is a marketing document for a product or service. Companies put careful thought and consideration into each and every word that goes into marketing copy and you should do the same in your CV. These words stand in your place with the employer and need to showcase you in a powerful way. In a perfect world, these things would not matter, but in the reality of job search today, they matter a great deal. Be wise – stop and give some thought to the words you choose.
What is a CV?
Curriculum Vitae: an outline of a person’s educational and professional history, usually prepared for job applications. Another name for a CV is a résumé.
A CV is the most flexible and convenient way to make applications. It conveys your personal details in the way that presents you in the best possible light.

A CV is a marketing document in which you are marketing something:
Often selectors read CVs outside working hours. They may have a pile of 50 CVs from which to select five interviewees. It’s evening and they would rather be in the pub with friends. If your CV is hard work to read: unclear, badly laid out and containing irrelevant information, they will just just move on to the next CV.
yourself! You need to “sell” your skills, abilities, qualifications and experience to employers. It can be used to make multiple applications to employers in a specific career area. For this reason, many large graduate recruiters will not accept CVs and instead use their own application form.

It can be used to make multiple applications to employers in a specific career area. For this reason, many large graduate recruiters will not accept CVs and instead use their own application form.
An application form is designed to bring out the essential information and personal qualities that the employer requires and does not allow you to gloss over your weaker points as a CV does. In addition, the time needed to fill out these forms is seen as a reflection of your commitment to the career.
There is no “one best way” to construct a CV; it is your document and can be structured as you wish within the basic framework below. It can be on paper or on-line or even on a T-shirt (a gimmicky approach that might work for “creative” jobs but not generally advised!).

Treat the selector like a child eating a meal. Chop your CV up into easily digestible morsels (bullets, short paragraphs and note form) and give it a clear logical layout, with just the relevant information to make it easy for the selector to read. If you do this, you will have a much greater chance of interview.

What information should a CV include?

Personal details
Normally these would be your name, address, date of birth, telephone number and email.
Education and qualifications
Your degree subject and university, plus 10+2 or equivalents. Mention grades unless poor!

Work experience
Use action words such as developed, planned and organised.
Even work in a shop, bar or restaurant will involve working in a team, providing a quality service to customers, and dealing tactfully with complaints. Don’t mention the routine, non-people tasks (cleaning the tables) unless you are applying for a casual summer job in a restaurant or similar.
Try to relate the skills to the job. A finance job will involve numeracy, analytical and problem solving skills so focus on these whereas for a marketing role you would place a bit more more emphasis on persuading and negotiating skills.
“All of my work experiences have involved working within a team-based culture. This involved planning, organisation, co-ordination and commitment e.g., in retail, this ensured daily sales targets were met, a fair distribution of tasks and effective communication amongst all staff members.”
Interests
Writing about your interests:
Keep this section short and to the point. As you grow older, your employment record will take precedence and interests will typically diminish greatly in length and importance.
Bullets can be used to separate interests into different types: sporting, creative etc.
Don’t use the old boring cliches here: “socialising with friends”.
Don’t put many passive, solitary hobbies (reading, watching TV, stamp collecting) or you may be perceived as lacking people skills. If you do put these, than say what you read or watch: “I particularly enjoy Dickens, for the vivid insights you get into life in Victorian times”.
Show a range of interests to avoid coming across as narrow : if everything centres around sport they may wonder if you could hold a conversation with a client who wasn’t interested in sport.
Hobbies that are a little out of the ordinary can help you to stand out from the crowd: skydiving or mountaineering can show a sense of wanting to stretch yourself and an ability to rely on yourself in demanding situations
Any interests relevant to the job are worth mentioning: current affairs if you wish to be a journalist; a fantasy share portfolio such as Bullbearings if you want to work in finance.
Any evidence of leadership is important to mention: captain or coach of a sports team, course representative, chair of a student society, scout leader: “As captain of the school cricket team, I had to set a positive example, motivate and coach players and think on my feet when making bowling and field position changes, often in tense situations”
Anything showing evidence of employability skills such as teamworking, organising, planning, persuading, negotiating etc.
Skills
The usual ones to mention are languages (good conversational French, basic Spanish), computing (e.g. “good working knowledge of MS Access and Excel, plus basic web page design skills” and driving (“full current clean driving licence”).
If you are a mature candidate or have lots of relevant skills to offer, a skills-based CV may work for you
Referees
Normally two referees are sufficient: one academic (perhaps your tutor or a project supervisor) and one from an employer (perhaps your last part-time or summer job). See our page on Choosing and Using Referees for more help with this.
The order and the emphasis will depend on what you are applying for and what you have to offer. For example, the example media CV lists the candidate’s relevant work experience first.
If you are applying for more than one type of work, you should have a different CV tailored to each career area, highlighting different aspects of your skills and experience.
A personal profile at the start of the CV can work for jobs in competitive industries such as the media or advertising, to help you to stand out from the crowd. If used, it needs to be original and well written. Don’t just use the usual hackneyed expressions: “I am an excellent communicator who works well in a team…… “

What makes a good CV?

There is no single “correct” way to write and present a CV but the following general rules apply:
It is targeted on the specific job or career area for which you are applying and brings out the relevant skills you have to offer
It is carefully and clearly laid out: logically ordered, easy to read and not cramped
It is informative but concise
It is accurate in content, spelling and grammar. If you mention attention to detail as a skill, make sure your spelling and grammar is perfect!
If your CV is written backwards on pink polkadot paper and it gets you regular interviews, it’s a good CV! The bottom line is that if it’s producing results don’t change it too much but if it’s not, keep changing it until it does.
If it’s not working, ask people to look at it and suggest changes. Having said this, if you use the example CVs in these pages as a starting point, you are unlikely to go far wrong.

How long should a CV be?

There are no absolute rules but, in general, a new graduate’s CV should cover no more than two sides of A4 paper.
If you can summarise your career history comfortably on a single side, this is fine and has advantages when you are making speculative applications and need to put yourself across concisely. However, you should not leave out important items, or crowd your text too closely together in order to fit it onto that single side. Academic and technical CVs may be much longer: up to 4 or 5 sides.
Tips on presentation
Your CV should be carefully and clearly laid out – not too cramped but not with large empty spaces either. Use bold and italic typefaces for headings and important information
Never back a CV – each page should be on a separate sheet of paper. It’s a good idea to put your name in the footer area so that it appears on each sheet.

Quick Enquiry

Quick Enquiry