Creating your CV

What is a CV?

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a document (usually 1-2 pages) highlighting information about you pertinent to the job you are applying for. It helps employers to decide whether your experience and skills match what they are looking for in an employee. It is usually a doorway to an interview.

What is the purpose of a CV?

To convince an employer that you are worth interviewing.

What is an employer looking for in an employee?

  • Relevant experience, skills and qualifications
  • Social skills
  • Reliability (it's no good being perfect for the job if you are not at work!)
  • how well you communicate, including structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation (and here your CV would be the first clue, so ensure that you have no errors)
  • your attention to detail.

Should a CV be the same for all jobs applied for?

No, your CV needs to be changed so that it is completely relevant to the job you are applying for. Your skills and experiences must match those required for the job.

How to begin writing a CV

First research the job and the position. You can find the information on the job listing. If the advert does not contain sufficient information, you can phone the employer to ask for more detail. Have specific questions prepared to ask them. Be brief and don't waste their time. They probably have many people to deal with.
For each job that you have chosen to apply to start with the following:
  • Write down the job title
  • Write down the deadline for the application
  • Write down the company name
  • What skills are required (if you are not clear about this, you can phone the company to find out.)
Now , read all you can about the position and about the company. You can find the information online, at the library and in newspapers.

What information should be included in a CV?

  • Contact details: Your name, address, phone number and email address. You could put this in the header to save space.
  • Personal Statement (Optional): A short (3 or 4 sentence) summary about yourself including a few skills related to the job you are applying for. Especially when employers have many applications to deal with, this can grab their attention.
  • Education and training: (Use bullet points) Show the highest educational level you have reached, where and when you studied.
  • Work history: (Use bullet points) List your present and past employment starting with the most recent experience. Include job title, employer's name and location, dates of employment, a description of your responsibilities and duties, and a description of your achievements in each position.
  • Skills: Read the job advertisement very carefully to see what skills are required and indicate your skills in relation to this and show when you have used this skills if possible. In other words, you want to offer "proof" that you have these skills.
  • Other skills: Include your other skills that are related to the job.
  • Referees: (See instructions on job advert) If requested list referees who can give details of your experience and comment on your personal qualities. Include each referee's name, title, employer, work phone number and email address, and briefly explain how they know you. Be sure to ask permission to list them and make sure they are comfortable with recommending you. or you may inform them that your references will be supplied on request. However, make sure that you do have people who will be your referee.

Template of a CV

Both template formats contain a layout of a professional cv letter layout with comments.

Curriculum Vitae - Word format
Curriculum Vitae - PDF format