Sophie, Student Intern, answers the big questions when it comes to writing CVS and assures us it doesn’t have to be all that scary!
How do I structure my CV?
The norm is two pages, although exceptions can be made for academic and medical CVs. For example, some areas of the media, prefer a one page CV, more like the American resumé. This may also be acceptable for first years who do not have lots of work experience. Think about where information is positioned on the CV. Information on the first page has more impact.
“Demonstrate the employable you. If your experience is a little bare, consider adopting the skills-based CV approach.”
Space translates importance. Give more space to the parts of your CV that sell you better or are especially relevant to the position you’re applying for. Avoid splitting an important point between two pages, if possible. Keep it simple. Fancy fonts or colours are unnecessary. There are a variety of ways to structure your CV, to help you discover which layout suits you best, check out the CV booklet available to download at Careers Central.
Did you know? Cardiff University Careers and Employability offer lots of FREE masterclasses for students to develop their employability – including a CV masterclass! Simply log into the Intranet and book under the Events tab on your Careers Account, or click here.
What do I need to include?
What goes in your CV depends on the job description. No matter what job you’re applying for, a brief summary of your contact details is key. Include your full name, address, email address and telephone number.
TOP TIP: Your date of birth may seem like an important detail but avoid including this to ensure you’re not discriminated against due to your age.
You should include a section detailing your education and qualifications, including ones you are working towards i.e. your university degree! GCSEs can be combined, but A Levels (and equivalent should be listed alongside their grade).
Your CV should include any relevant work experience in the field you’re applying for. This can be titled any number of things, from ‘Relevant Experience’ to ‘Sales Experience’ – the important part is the content you include.
Following your relevant experience, a section explaining your relevant skills is important. This can be structured in any way you like, but the bullet point format is especially effective here. Make sure you evidence your skill set with specific examples that demonstrate your learning.
Some CVs contain a section called ‘interests’ or ‘achievements’. This section is used to help the employer get a better understanding of who you are as a person, what motivates you and whether you’re a suitable fit for their company.
Finally, including references is a great way for employers to check that the information you’ve given them is true. Remember to always ask before using someone as a reference.
Attending a CV masterclass is great for getting to grips with CV writing, helping you gain the knowledge to write it independently in future. The masterclass covers a range of material from structuring your CV and tailoring your content to match what the job description is asking of you. You’ll also find out the do’s and don’ts of writing a covering letter. Best of all, they’re free, friendly and a great place to get thinking about your future!
You can bring your draft CV to a Drop In session where one of the Careers Team will look it over and give you some feedback. If you feel, for any reason, that you are at a disadvantage in the application process (e.g. because of a disability or any other issue), please make this known to a member of staff when visiting the Careers & Employability Centre, and we will do our best to help you.
For more top tips on writing your CV, check this out!
Sophie, Student Intern.
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