There's no one-template-fits-all perfect way to construct your CV but here are our Top Ten Tips for producing a CV that will get you noticed for all the right reasons.
1. Target your CV
Responding to an advertised vacancy? Tailor your CV to show that you meet the employer's requirements. Read the job description/person specification (if provided by the employer).
No advert? Research the sector and the employer to work out the key skills that they are looking for. Make an appointment with an adviser if you need help with this. Recruiters can easily spot if you've used the same CV for multiple applications to different companies.
2. Start with your name
Don't put Curriculum Vitae at the head of the page - it should be obvious what the document is! Ensure that your name features prominently at the start of the CV.
3. Prioritise important information
A number of surveys have suggested that the average recruiter spends only five-seven seconds making an initial assessment of your CV. Make sure that the most important information is featured prominently.
4. Concise and clear
Generally, employers will be expecting to see no more than two pages. Ensure your language is clear and to-the-point. This is particularly important if you decide to use a career objective or summary at the start of your CV. An overlong summary or objective can make you sound unfocused.
5. Give evidence
Always back up your claims. If you're claiming to have a skill then back up your claims with supporting evidence. Give examples that demonstrate your skills, if you're not sure how to do this take a look at the example CV on this page.
6. Double check for errors
Ensure that your CV is free from spelling and grammatical errors. Get someone else to read your application before you press send. Remember a spellchecker will not pick up errors such as using 'form' when you meant to write 'from'
Use appropriate headings to make the information clear and readable.
8. Use action words
Action words can add interest to your CV. See our list of action words.
9. Mind the gap
Are there any gaps on your CV? Perhaps you changed course or have taken a break from employment due to other commitments? If you're unsure about how to express this on your CV then book an appointment with one of our advisers.
10. Update and review
Your CV should be up-to-date, accurately reflect your most current experience and be tailored to the position you're applying for. Don't use a CV that you created to apply for a part-time job in your first year to apply for a graduate position in your final year. Remember advisers are available to review your application.