CV Writing

When it comes to applying for a new job, CVs are still required by many employers. This can be either a paper copy or an electronic copy, either way it is your CV that will get your foot in the door and secure an interview, the important part is ensuring your CV is added to the interview pile rather than dropped straight into the the bin.

Putting together a successful CV is easy once you know how. It’s a case of taking all your skills and experience and tailoring them to the job you’re applying for. Ordinarily the job will come with a description and a person specification, so you will have all of the information you need to make a successful application.


What is CV an abbreviation for?

  • CV is an abbreviation of ‘Curriculum Vitae’ which is Latin and means‘the course of life’

What is a CV?

  • Your own personal and flexible marketing tool

  • A record of your life and achievements

Why would you use a CV?

  • To inform potential employers of your achievements and qualities

  • To give you the opportunity to sell yourself

  • To post, email and/or upload via the internet

  • To help you to fill in an application form

  • To keep all your information in one place

There is no strict rule for CV layout, but presentation is absolutely key. The following tips can be used as a guide:

A CV should:

  • Be relevant to the job you are applying for

  • Be easy to read and follow

  • Contain detailed and accurate information

  • Clearly show your work history and qualifications

  • Only contain truthful information that can be supported with evidence

  • Highlight the qualities and skills you have developed

  • Be one or two A4 sheets maximum wherever possible

  • Be up to date

A CV should NOT:

  • Contain irrelevant information

  • Have ‘CV’ written at the top of it

  • Include your date of birth

  • Be vague and lacking in detail

  • Contain any spelling mistakes, typing errors or poor grammar

  • Be dishonest

  • Include abbreviations and jargon, unless you are sure they are appropriate

  • Have unexplained gaps in your employment history


You should adapt your CV to suit the vacancy you wish to apply for. For example, if the person specification is more concerned with relevant experience, you may want to emphasise any appropriate experience that you have by adding extra detail. Always keep your CV up to date.


Below is a very simple CV. There is no absolutely right CV layout, but as you can see everything on this basic example is clear very easy to read.

If you need any further help or advice, please contact the Careers and Employability Team