CV writing tips

Finding a job starts with writing a great CV, but have you ever wondered how to make it stand out from the crowd?

Your CV and covering letter is your chance to convince an employer that you should be interviewed. While there’s no one ‘model’ CV that will work in all circumstances, these points may help you get started.

General guidelines

  • Your CV should give a comprehensive picture of your achievements, talents and experiences, with a particular focus on recent activities. 
  • It should be clear and concise.
  • It’s essential to focus the CV at a particular vacancy and employer.
  • It should be visually appealing and have flawless spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • The standard length of a CV is two pages, some employers prefer a one-page CV.

What should appear on a CV?

Personal details

  • Full name, address, telephone number and email.
  • It’s not necessary to give your date of birth or indicate your marital status.


  • Focus on your recent studies.
  • Include details of relevant courses.
  • Keep details of school and college qualifications brief.

Work experience

  • Detail the name of the employer and job title.
  • Write a brief description of your main responsibilities. 
  • Include full time work as well as any part time, paid or unpaid work.

Other skills and abilities

Any relevant skills, e.g. languages, professional affiliations, IT, driving licence.

Interests and activities

This shouldn’t be a list of hobbies but it should include relevant information, especially positions of responsibility held. 


It’s usual to give 2 references, usually from an employer or someone who has experience of your abilities and motivation. Make sure you ask their permission first.

Preparing for interviews

Now you’ve done the work to make your CV stand out, why not prepare for an interview with LinkedIn. You can also find tips for creating a recovery plan, developing your skills for in-demand jobs and how to find your next role

Want to learn more?

Learn about expanding your skills, resilience and wellbeing and being your own boss, with our careers videos

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