Your CV and covering letter is your chance to show an employer the best of what you've got. It's about selling your skills and experience, and showing them you're the right person for the job.
How you write your CV and covering letter is up to you, but there are some basic rules to follow if you want to create the best impression. And don't be worried if this is your first CV - with our help you'll soon have a professional CV and covering letter that are ready to be sent out and get you interviews.
Your CV is such an important document it's worth taking the time to get it right. When you start writing your CV all sorts of questions can come to mind, as you try to make it the best it can be. Here we answer some of the most common questions about CVs.
Your CV should be no more than two pages long and have line spaces between each section.
Two pages might not seem like a lot of space to fit everything into but you can free up space by being brief on less important details, such as jobs you held a long time ago. You can even leave some things out entirely - for example, you don't need to put 'CV' or 'Curriculum Vitae' at the top.
Print your CV on white A4 paper.
Try to use a consistent font all the way through, with bold and bigger font sizes to bring out headings. The layout should be as simple as possible and make use of white space, rather than lines or graphics, to separate sections.
Use the best quality paper you can find – first impressions count! Although some people like to include photos on their CVs, it’s only essential for jobs such as modelling or acting.
It should be concise and easy to read.
The words you use can make a big difference to how you come across and whether an employer reads your CV. Try to make your words punchy and 'active', especially when describing what you achieved in previous jobs. You could try using powerful words like managed, led and achieved.
Check your final CV for spelling and grammar mistakes. You can use a computer spelling and grammar check but it's also a good idea to get it checked by somebody else.
Your CV should be tailored for the job you're applying for, matching your skills and experience to the requirements of the job.
If you're replying to a job advert, look at the person specification and make sure these skills are mentioned in your CV.
If you're applying on spec, think about what the job will involve and what the employer might be looking for. Take some time to find out about the main activities of the employer.
There's a difference between selling yourself and inventing things!
Selling yourself is putting your skills and experience in the best light. Never be tempted to invent qualifications or previous jobs. You might be asked for more information about them at the interview stage
It's normal to feel nervous when you have an interview because you want to do your best. If you prepare and practise you can get the better of your nerves.
This can give you the best chance of getting the job. Read our guides to see how you can improve your performance.
An interview is a discussion between you and an employer to find out if you can do the job. It’s your chance to make a good impression. However, there are certain rules you should follow in interviews.
All interviews are different but there are some things you should always do, and some things you should definitely not do....
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