The Basics: CV

Your CV provides the opportunity to demonstrate clear evidence of the skills and experience that you can offer to a potential employer. As Sherlock Holmes said, “There is nothing like first hand evidence”.

CV’s are one of the most crucial tools for job hunting. They are used to assess a candidate’s suitability by companies or organisations with a clear set of requirements.  This means it is vital to invest sufficient time and thought into producing the best CV possible. QM Careers can help with this but you will need to create a draft version before booking a CV check with a QM Careers Consultant.

What is it?

A CV is not a list of everything you have ever done.

It is your marketing document.

The aim is to “sell” your individual skills and unique professional / personal experiences in relation to a particular role.

Employers often scan each CV for just 20 seconds in order to identify if there is “crucial evidence” that you have what they are looking for.


How do I write a CV?

Clue A: Each job application needs a tailored CV

Always tailor and be specific. Read the job description and demonstrate the skills that are required. If after a quick name-change you could send the exact same application to another organisation, then you are not being specific enough.

Clue B: Let the words do the talking

Your CV should be an absolute maximum of two pages and set out clearly how and where you acquired these skills.

Illustrations, graphs, and colours are not necessary. Use a simple type face and defined headings such as Education, Employment, Work Experience, Volunteering and, if possible, include a section on Personal Achievements to help you stand out from other applicants.

Clue C: Content is King

Take your time and think carefully about how to clearly evidence your set of skills.

Always double check the grammar and ensure it is easy to read and well presented.

Stick to the facts and never mention anything that you cannot explain in an interview.

Clue D: Needs not wants

Remember a CV is not about what you want .It is a marketing document that evidences how you have the skills and experience that a company or organisation needs to fulfil a specific role.

More help?

Take a look at these websites for inspiration on making your CV stand out in the job market:

Once you have created a first draft CV,then make an appointment to have it checked with a Careers Consultant. Visit the QM Careers & Enterprise Centre or phone to book (with your student ID card).


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