CVs and covering letters
There is no single template for writing a CV. Consider the following points when drafting your CV.
1 Marketing tool - A CV is like a sales brochure, promoting your qualification, skills and experience with the ultimate intention being to get you an interview. The quality of the document and the content can help to differentiate you from other candidates.
2. Relevance - Work out what the employer wants, find out what the job involves and show how your knowledge, skills and experience are relevant. If there is a job specification, try to match up your areas with those they are looking for.
3. Layout - The CV should capture the employers attention. Aim for a professional looking CV, a consistent layout, good balance of text and space, and careful use of fonts and italics etc will help do this.
4. Attention to detail - pay attention to your spelling and grammar. Check it over and ask someone else to proof read and look over it.
Help with content
- Writing your CV - A leaflet to get you started on drafting your CV is available in the Careers Centre.
- What to include in your CV and your covering letter information from Prospects web.
- Looking good on paper - Video available to view in the Careers Centre.
- Great CVs - Useful website with a host of information including a section on specific CVs e.g. 'How to write a graduate CV', 'Acting or Performing Arts CV' and 'Executive CVs'.
- How to tailor Your CV, Careers Group - PDF available on the web, Careers Group, University of London.
- A more in depth Careers Group publication 'How to write a CV' is available in the Careers Centre.
- Other resources in the Careers Centre include Preparing the Perfect CV, Creating a winning CV and the Windmills programme Writing a winning CV. You can also pick up an information sheet giving an example CV for part-time/temporary work - call in for this and lots more!
- How to approach writing a covering letter, a PDF version of this is available online from the Careers Group, University of London. A copy is also available in the Careers Centre.
- Look at what to include in Graduate CVs on the Target Jobs website which also provides a step by step guide to Graduate CV writing.
- Using internships, vacation work and work experience to improve your CV, PDF available online from the Careers Group, University of London.
- CV section on the Guardian Graduate Careers provides tips and advice on work and careers issues, including a regular CV clinic. Join a discussion group or start one of your own and use the feedback forum to post suggestions for future Q&As.
- Help in choosing which style of CV is best for your job application, includes a range of sample CVs. (Prospects website)
- Examples of chronological, skills-based, combination and alternative CVs can be found on the TARGETjobs website.