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Sophie Chadwick

A clear and concise CV is essential when applying for graduate jobs: it is your opportunity to present potential employers a condensed list of your skills, employment history and to tell them about your personality and how you’re suited to this particular role! It is a deal breaker in many cases, as a well-crafted CV will can lead to an interview.

Some general advice on writing your CV is to make your it tailored to the specific role you are applying for. If you submit a generic CV, it will not make you stand out or draw employers to you. It is vital to carry out research on the company and role to keep the skills you include relevant, rather than including a lengthy list of every achievement you’ve had to date. You also want to reflect your character and personality through your writing, particularly in the personal statement and interests section. It is the perfect opportunity to show you are not only academic, but a well-rounded person who is a promising candidate for the role.

Presentation Tips:

Choose a simple business font. Use bullet points to format lengthy content.

Keep the length up to 2 pages of A4 – you need to utilize the space wisely to include all relevant information, less is more remember!

Include personal details in a heading – this may include your full name, address and contact information.


Don’t let grammar or spelling mistakes jeopardize a career opportunity.

Be consistent!

Ensure new paragraphs and headings are in line with each other and use the same style and font for all throughout.

Essential Headings to Include:

1 Personal Statement:
This is a brief introduction to the employer about yourself and your current professional situation, whether you have come out of a previous job or just graduated. State what field of work you are looking to pursue your career in and tailor it to the specific employer/job role!

2 Education:
In reverse chronological order, most recent at the top, state your qualifications and where you gained them. Your order might be the following: degree classification, A Level results and any other higher education qualifications that will aid your application. With GCSE’s, include your Mathematics and English results as they are deemed the most important.

3 Employment History:
Include a small breakdown of any work experience you have had including voluntary work, internships, placements and part time jobs where you specify the organization, dates you worked and job titles. Limit yourself to a brief sentence about each role and what sort of responsibilities you had. Again, keep it relevant! If a past job role shows you have certain skills suited to what you’re applying for, put emphasis on this.

4 Interests and Hobbies:
Although this is not an essential section on a CV, it does help your personality shine through more. Mention any appropriate hobbies or sports you have participated in, ones that show skills that can be applied in the work place, such as communication or team-work skills. A variety of hobbies also suggest you are sociable and have a competitive nature – attributes that are desired in candidates!

5 References:
Finally, use two references to end your CV. This could be either an academic reference or a previous employer. If you choose not to include contact details, simply write ‘references available on request’. 

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