CVs can be used:
- When a job advert invites 'applications in writing'. This normally means you should send a CV and covering letter.
- To contact employers speculatively - you may send a CV and covering letter to ask an employer if they have any vacancies.
- As part of an application form - sometimes application forms ask you to attach a CV. However, some application forms specifically advise you not to send a CV, so it is important to check.
CVs may also be written as part of an academic course of study.
There are a few key pieces of advice when writing a CV:
- A CV should be no longer than 2 sides of A4
- A CV must contain your contact details, a summary of your education, a summary of your work experience and information about references.
- As well as the mandatory information CVs can contain other information, such as key skills, key achievements, a personal profile etc.
- A CV should be rewritten or heavily edited for each job you apply for in order to target it at the employer. You should never send a generic CV for a job.
Further information is given on our CVs. This advice sheet also gives some example CVs.
A full introduction to CV writing can be found in our CVs and Applications Learning Resources available via the Resource Library.
The Careers and Employability Centre can offer current students and recent graduates personalised feedback on their CV and / or covering letter.
The speak to an adviser service can also be used for other questions about CVs or job applications as well as more general careers advice.