Student Advice - Career Search - Advice & Guidance - Employment Issues - CV - Resume
Welcome to Student Adviser site. Jump to the page content    

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Student Adviser  
  You are here: Home > Advice & Guidance > Career Management > CV
back
Career Search
Home
Career search
Recruitment register
Careers advice & guidance
Job opportunities
Professional Careers Advisors
E-Brochures & Magazines
Gap Year Opportunities
apprenticeships
Student Advicer News
Student Advicer Forum
Site Search


Contact Us
Site map
 

Join the E-mail list
To receive regular emails informing you of our new online editions
please subscribe below:
Name:
Email:
 
 

Career Management

Constructing a CV

An important part of your career planning is to put together your own personal information record. This is often referred to by the Latin term curriculum vitae (CV for short), although some people prefer the American/French résumé.

Here are five good reasons why you should write your own CV:

  1. It will help you to reflect on what you have achieved so far in your life, focus on where you want to go in the future and organise all that information in a logical way
  2. Some employers may ask you to submit a CV when you apply for a job
  3. You can send it out, with a covering letter, to organisations you would really like to work for
  4. You can use it as a prompt when asked to talk about yourself in a job interview (but don’t just sit there and read it out!)
  5. You can leave a copy with any potential employers you meet

So, your CV is a vitally important document. We’ll give you some tips in a minute about what to include but we’ll start with some general pointers:

  • Remember that this is your personal sales literature! Your CV doesn’t have to be bright and flashy but it should be neat and legible. You really must do it on a computer…and make sure you have the spellchecker on!
  • By storing your CV on computer, you can update it as often as you like, you can tailor it to meet the needs of specific employers and you can attach it to any number of speculative emails.
  • You will also need some paper copies. It’s probably best to run off a small supply from time to time.
  • Don’t get carried away. Keep your CV factual and brief. If you have more than two sides of A4 paper, you have written too much and will have to take something out.
  • Try to include something relevant and positive under all the headings we suggest below but don’t invent things. CV cheats get the sack when they are found out!
  • Think about the underlying message of each of the sections of your CV. To help you understand what we mean, we’ve included a paragraph in italics at the end of each set of notes below.
  • Draft a selection of letters to accompany your CV – one to use, for example, when replying to a specific job vacancy and another for speculative enquiries.

What to include in your CV

Personal details
Always start with your name. It may be useful to distinguish between your first name and your family name by putting the second one in block capitals (e.g. John SMITH). This can help avoid confusion and embarrassment, especially if the names are unusual.

Follow this with your postal address, including the postcode, telephone number (including your mobile if you use it a lot) and your email address.

Finish this section with your date of birth and your current age. Make sure that you don’t put in today’s date instead of your date of birth – lots of people do!

This section says to the employer: I’m being totally open and honest about myself and I’m giving you every possible opportunity to get back in touch with me.

Education and qualifications
Give details of your most recent school or college and list the exams you are taking or have already passed. There is no need to include information about the primary school you attended ten years or more ago!

Underlying message: What a clever person I am!

Work and vocational experience
List any paid or unpaid jobs you have had, giving details of dates and responsibilities. Always start with the most recent.

Message to employer: I may still be young but I’ve already built up some impressive experience.

Skills
Give details both of specific work skills and of broader transferable skills. In the first group, you might include that you are fluent in French and that your computer skills mean that you can use Word, Excel and Internet Explorer. In the second group, try to demonstrate how you can manage your own time and that of other people, how you solve problems, tackle several tasks at once and use your powers of persuasion. (Remember that all examples must be true!)

Underlying message: I’m good at all the things employers say they need!

Interests and other activities
You don’t have to detail every single aspect of your private life here. Indeed, you could argue that what you do outside work hours has nothing to do with your employer. That’s a valid point…but you are trying to create the right impression with your CV, so it could well be worth including details of any hobbies or other interests that might provide supporting evidence for the skills we have identified above.

What this says about you: I’m a nice, normal person with no weird, secret pastimes.

References
Employers do not always demand references but you should have at least two referees lined up and ready to help fight your corner. It is vital that you obtain their permission before you include their details on your CV. If you are about to leave school or college, one referee should be your Head Teacher, Principal or a senior member of staff. The other could usefully be an employer or training provider.

Message to employer: These good people will confirm how lucky you would be to have me on your payroll!

Work out your own order of sections

Some people argue that a CV looks far more exciting if you put your skills and work experience before education and qualifications. This can be true…if you have plenty of skills and experience to offer.

The best solution, as we have suggested already, is to construct your CV on computer. You can then rearrange the sections in whatever order you like!

Be positive!

Here is an alphabetical list of favourite positive words to include in your CV. How many of them can you include on your two sides of A4?

Achieve
Acquire
Administer
Advise
Ambition
Analyse
Aspire

Budget
Build

Capable
Clarify
Complete
Conceive
Confidence
Conscientious
Co-operate
Co-ordinate
Create

Decide
Delegate
Demonstrate
Dependable
Determined
Develop
Devise
Display
Direct
Distinctive

Educated
Effective
Efficient
Encourage
Enhance
Enthusiasm
Establish
Evaluate
Exceed
Excellence

Exceptional
Execute
Expand
Experience

Facilitate
Finalise
Finance
Formulate

Generate
Govern
Graduate

Head
Helpful
Honest
Humour

Imagination
Implement
Improve
Improvise
Increase
Influence
Ingenuity
Integrity
Initiate
Innovate
Inspire

Launch
Lead
Liaise
Locate
Loyal

Maintain
Manage
Market
Mediate
Motivate

Negotiate
Nominate
Notable

Obtain
Operate
Opportunity
Organise
Originate
Overcome

Participate
Perceive
Perfect
Perform
Permanent
Pilot
Pioneer
Place
Plan
Play
Popular
Practical
Praise
Prepared
Prestige
Produce
Proficient
Progress
Promote
Propose
Prove
Punctual

Reasonable
Recognise
Recommend
Reduce
Regulate
Reliable
Reorganise

Report
Represent
Research
Responsible

Satisfy
Schedule
Select
Simplify
Sincere
Solve
Stimulate
Streamline
Structure
Substantial
Succeed
Success
Supervise
Support

Thorough
Thoughtful
Tolerant
Train
Transfer
Transform
Treble

Understand
Useful
Utilise

Verify
Vital
Vivid

Win
Wise
Write

 

Think about what employers want
When listing your skills and abilities, consider how they relate to our top 20:

  • Willing to learn
  • Committed
  • Reliable
  • Self-motivated
  • Good team worker
  • Excellent communicator
  • Energetic
  • Well organised
  • Highly motivated
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Good analysis skills
  • Flexible
  • Display initiative
  • Able to summarise issues
  • Good reasoning skills
  • Good number skills
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Able to prioritise
  • Confident
  • Capable of researching information
As we have said before, don’t lie on your CV. However, it is normal practice to highlight the areas in which you believe you can excel!

 

 

 

Still searching?

 
 
Ask your clients to try our FREE Recruitment Register to receive detailed further information and recruitment brochures on career opportunities that interest them
 
 
top
 
Student Adviser

| Student Adviser Home | Career Search | Job Vacancies | Careers Information Service | About Us |

©Sandringham Publishing Ltd - All rights reserved

Email: webmaster@studentadviser.net

Advertise with us: advertise@studentadviser.net

career search