Published: 30 April 2020
Alice McDougall, Careers Employability and Enterprise Manager at the University of Sunderland in London is back with her ten top tips for writing your CV.
Getting an interview for an internship programme or graduate role requires a competitive, individual and authentic CV. While this may not be the best time for applying for jobs, it’s a great time to plan for the future. You CV is a document that continually needs to be updated, refreshed and relevant to the job market so why not get yours ready now?
1) Your CV
It should be written to fit each individual job you’re applying for. Read through the job description, note the key skills and experience they’re looking for and highlight how you fit each part.
2) Your profile
Keep it brief and precise. Emphasise the key skills, experience and education you have for the role. The most important information should be highlighted in this section. Make sure it’s personal to you and not a generic statement.
3) Be proactive
Show your potential employer what you can do for them. Use active verbs which describe what you have done in the past (e.g. created, managed, coordinated, resolved, produced, trained).
4) Use concrete information
If you’ve managed a team, how many people were there in the team? If you increased sales, by how much? If you reached specific targets, what were they?
5) Highlight achievements
Did you launch a new system? Did you go beyond your job description to fix a problem? Did you win an award? Did you take on new responsibilities? Did you get promoted?
6) Skills section
Show off your transferable skills (e.g. problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, communication), as well as your technical - or hard skills (e.g. computer skills, accounting, languages, clinical skills).
Personalise your university experience by adding some course modules which are relevant to the job, or modules you did particularly well in.
If you’re just starting your career, add any recent extra activities you’ve done, including voluntary work, community work, running a university society or being a student representative.
9) Your interests
This section is not essential but it can add value. If you do something in your spare time which shows commitment, determination, skills or community spirit, it can show your personality and help the reader remember you.
Your CV should have a simple, easy-to-read format which is consistent through the document. Use section headings, bullet points and clear concise language. Make sure you proof-read it before you send it out.