CV - Curriculum Vitae

While there are no absolute rules on how to do a CV, there are certain things you can do that are more likely to increase its effectiveness.

Top Tips for a good CV:

  • Target your CV to each and every role you apply for. To do this you will need to match your experience and skills to the requirements of the job. For example, when describing your degree you could focus on the content of your course or the skills you developed during it.
  • Make the first page your "power page" – get all the relevant information in this space. You can play around with headings to make your CV work for you such as placing your relevant work experience on page one and other experience on page two.
  • Make it easy to read and skim quickly, as an employer will be seeing many CVs for an advertised role. It should usually be two pages maximum. You need to use white space and headings effectively, be consistent with fonts used and don’t go below 11pt font. Avoid large blocks of text - bullet points can help you get the message across more effectively.
  • Avoid providing irrelevant information, such as your date of birth, marital status or a full list of GCSE qualifications.
  • However, all experience is relevant as it shows your skills and abilities. e.g. being on a sports team or working in a supermarket both have transferrable skills. 
  • Use language effectively - be positive and use high-level action verbs (e.g. organised, managed). Try and avoid the first person use of ‘I’ – this helps you get to the point more quickly.
  • There are different types of CVs – pick the one that works for you and the job you are applying for. This includes skills based, chronological and academic. 

We have a large amount of documents in our Download Zone to help you put together an effective CV. However, if you require additional help please come along to Purple Door where one of our experienced advisers will be available to provide tips and advice on content and presentation.

See Purple Door's video tutorial below for our step by step guide on writing a CV. 

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Further advice and information

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