Writing a CV

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How to structure a cv

As you progress in your career, you will need to consider how to write a CV. This means developing skills and work experience to detail and outline in your CV, and learning how to structure and design a CV. Depending on the type of application, the style and lengths of your CV may vary.

Top 5 tips on how to write a CV

Ensure your CV is up to date and don’t leave any gaps

It is good practice to periodically keep your CV up to date even if you are not looking for a job at the moment. Many of us have had a break in work for different reasons. Don’t just leave a gap. Try to put something positive in your CV. Did you do some voluntary work, or develop new skills? if so, put it in.

Make it concise

A CV is a very short ‘elevator pitch’, in fact, think 10 seconds. Yes that’s right. Most employers will spend less than 10 seconds looking at your CV so keep it to the point, well designed and save the details to the interview.

Tailor your CV to the job or postgraduate-degree you are applying for

Life is busy and if you are applying for lots of jobs it is tempting to send the same CV out to everyone.

Don’t do this!

Unfortunately even a very similar job at two different companies will likely ask you for different skills and experiences. Read the job advert carefully and make sure you highlight the skills they ask for in your CV. A tailored CV will stand out from the rest. Don’t worry when you know how to write a CV it won’t take too long.

Include the numbers

When considering how to write a CV quantify your achievements wherever possible.  Don’t just say you increased sales or website traffic. If you increased website traffic by 50% over 6 months, this sounds a lot better. Just make sure you are honest. You can be sure the employer will be looking for you do this at their company. You need to be prepared at your interview to say how you did it.

Finally, ensure your CV design looks good

Don’t underestimate how important it is to make sure your CV looks great. Concise is important but it is equally important that it is easy to read in those all-important 10 seconds! The trick is to leave plenty of white space around the text and categories. Even when you are an expert in how to write a CV, design is still everything, it will make your CV stand out. We have lots of experience in crafting your skills and experiences into a CV that will stand out from the crowd. Please do get in touch to find out more.

How to structure your CV

To structure your CV, you need to demonstrate your varied experience and educational qualifications. When writing a CV you must articulate how the relevance of your work experience has helped you in developing your broader skills, responsibility, and competence. It is about demonstrating yourself as being a suitable candidate for postgraduate study or a job. Understanding how to write a CV requires the following points:

  • Your education and any professional affiliations you have
  • Work and professional experience
  • Key language skills
  • IT skills, for instance IT proficiency, statistical packages and other software packages
  • Soft skills (including communication, leadership, time management, adaptability, and responsibility)
  • Your personal contact details

 

Find out more about how to write a cv here.

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How to write a CV for academia

If you are applying for postgraduate study, when writing an academic CV you should have a greater emphasis on your educational qualifications, as well as reflecting work experience. You should also demonstrate any published work, research skills and interests you have. By the end of your degree course, you should ensure you have written a CV to; demonstrate your educational qualifications, your work experience and your broader skills. You need to add two suitable referees on your cv. For an application for postgraduate study, this should include at least one lecturer from your undergraduate study. The second referee could be either another lecturer or a professional one – perhaps someone you have worked with in an internship or summer job.

A graduate CV will be either one or two pages long, depending on the range of work experience and internships you have undertaken. Use a clear font like Arial or Calibri and a font size of either 11 or 12 so it is easily readable.

Your personal statement can be left to demonstrate more of your character and interests outside of your education or work experience.

Writing a covering letter

Many work experience and internship opportunities as well as postgraduate courses, require you to both submit a CV and write a covering letter. Uni Direct can help you to write a covering letter, for submission alongside how to write a cv. for graduate job applications and postgraduate course applications.

As a part of our  careers advice and support service. Our specialist mentors can support you to understand how to write a CV and write a compelling covering letter. If you would like to find out more please contact us to speak to one of our advisers.