Careers Service

Writing a CV - first steps

Your CV structure and content must be appropriate for the job or course you are applying for, use these guidelines and our advice services to help you.

  • CV and LinkedIn Guide Download the guide to help you structure your CV and tailor it for the job you are applying to. Why not get started using LinkedIn too?
  • CV template To get you started, remember you may want your sections in a different order for different jobs.

The chronological CV

This is the most popular CV format, it is easy for recruiters to read and easy to put together.

The employer will have a list of skills, attributes and knowledge they are looking for, you need to give examples on your CV of times when you have used those effectively. The CAR model is useful for this:

  • Context: What was the situation, what task were you required to carry out? Keep it brief, but specific.
  • Action: What did YOU do? What was your role? What actions did you take? Use active language.
  • Result: What was the outcome? What did you achieve? What was improved? Qualify and quantify.

More CV formats and styles

There are numerous ways to present your CV. Some will be more appropriate for certain industries or personal circumstances as they enable you to highlight your best selling points in different ways.

Remember: Submit your application in good time before the deadline. Applications may not be accepted after closing dates, if in doubt ring to check.

  • Using LinkedIn Creating and using your LinkedIn profile. In many ways it's like a CV but it takes some extra thought to make sure it works for the audience you intend it for.