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Creating a CV – Our Top Tips

27 October 2023
Learn how to create a great CV with our top tips.

Whether you want part-time work to fit alongside your course or a full-time job to follow your studies, you will need a CV that shows off who you are and what you can do, as well as stand out from the crowd. You may need to update your CV, so try following some of our tips below. 

Keep it short, but sweet 

You are bound to want to write lots of information on a CV, but don’t go too overboard, as employers may only have a few minutes to read each one, so you want to sell yourself in a simple and effective way. We recommend your CV being no longer than 2 sheets of A4 paper. If you want to talk in greater detail about your experience, previous roles and skillsets, you can do so in a cover letter, which normally goes alongside a CV to show an employer why you want that job. 

Ideally, a CV should contain: 

  • Name 
  • Contact Details (Phone and Email – make sure the email is a sensible one!) 
  • Education History 
  • Previous/Current Job Roles 
  • Skills  
  • References (if needed) 
  • Opening Statement (you could have a short paragraph at the top talking about who you are and summing you up, but we only recommend this if a cover letter isn’t required at this stage) 


Make it relevant for each job 

Employers not only read CV’s to see who you are and what you can bring, but they also look at what skills you have and how they are relevant to the role. This is why editing/updating your CV for each job is crucial! Highlight the skills you have and how they will enable you to do the role successfully. If you aren’t sure about relevant experience, think about what you have done that could link to the job. As an example, taking part in enrichment and leading groups can show teamwork and leadership skills, which are needed in lots of roles.  


Spell Check and Check for Grammar: 

If there are lots of errors in your CV, employers may be put off by your application, especially if a big part of the role is attention to detail! Use spell check and grammar software on your word software where available, and get someone you trust to read over your CV afterwards. They may spot something that you haven’t. 

Be truthful in your CV: 

You may think that bending the truth on your CV can help, especially if you really want the job, but this is not the case at all. Chances are if you exaggerate or create fake job roles that this will be talked about at an interview, and you won’t know how to answer as you haven’t actually had these experiences. Skills tests could also be part of the process. It is always best to be truthful, as even if you haven’t had 100% relevant experience, most employers will still consider you as your passion and excitement for the job will come through to them.  

Format it nicely:  

Unless you are creating a CV for a very creative role, (in which case they may want something creative – but they will state this), make sure your CV is formatted properly, so that it is easy to read and see what points you are making. If an employer can’t read your CV or gets lost in the information, chances are it will be cast aside. We recommend using a font size of around 12pt and a font which is considered standard, such as Calibri or Arial. 


Use Social Media/Online platforms to enhance your CV:  

Depending on the industry you are going into, as well as a Cover Letter in addition to your CV, it may be a good idea to have an online presence which you are proud to show off. This can also help employers see your skillsets in action or see what you have been doing that may not be relevant for a CV. Just two examples of these platforms are:

  • LinkedIn - This is a type of social network/social media that focuses on professional networking and career development. You can use LinkedIn to display your resume, search for jobs, and enhance your professional reputation by posting updates and interacting with other people. You set up a profile in the same way as you would when you create a CV, so this is a very handy tool to have. LinkedIn can also show you relevant jobs to your areas, allowing you to think about industries you wouldn’t have done before.  
  • ArtStation - this platform is an online portfolio site, where you can show off projects and work that you have done, either as part of College or in your existing roles. By uploading your work on the site, you can ensure that you have an up to date online portfolio which any employer or company can see in case they are interested in your potential. This platform is more for showing off projects in our Creative pathways but it is a great way to stand out on your CV if your refer an employer to a platform like this. 


If you need Careers Help at anytime while in College, you can see our Careers Officers, who are based in our LRC (Learning Resource Center). They can help you with tailoring your CV’s, as well as with job interview prep and advice whilst searching for your perfect career. 

See what help they can provide in College.