Make your CV shine

Shine a light on your skills and experience with help from our CV top tips.

Shine a light on your skills and experience with help from our CV top tips.

Package up you

There’s only one you. And your blend of skills, unique personality, and specific experience means you’re capable of so much.

But how will potential employers know that? Your CV gives you the chance to show just how great you are. Whether you’re applying for summer jobs, part-time work, work experience or jobs after school – your CV will tell employers why they should hire you.

In this article you'll find:

Graphic shows a desk with a CV. Someone with a magnifying glass is examining the CV.

What is a CV, and why do I need one?

A CV is what an employer reads before deciding whether to interview you for a job. When you write one, you’re basically packaging up all your great qualities into one easy to read document. 

Your CV should talk about your qualifications, any work experience you have, and your hobbies or passions – and include basics like your full name and contact details. It’ll usually come along with a personal statement and a cover letter.

Almost everyone has a CV, and most people keep theirs up-to-date with new work experience and skills they’ve learned. That way, it’s always ready for the next right opportunity that comes along. 

I'm not sure where to start...

CVs always include the same sort of information. There’s a basic template you can stick to, have a look at our example CV

When you sit down to write yours, start with the basics we’ve listed above. Then tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for to highlight different skills to different employers.  

For example, if you’re applying for a job in marketing and design, you might want to focus on your creative flare. For a sales assistant role, you might want to talk about your friendly communication style. 

Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t have loads to put in it yet. It’s not all about work experience – it’s about skills too.

Our skills page can help you think about which ones you already have and can bring to the roles you’re interested in.  

Your personal statement

A personal statement is the first few lines at the top of your CV. It's like a taster for what follows. 

It's really important to tailor your personal statement to the opportunity you're applying for. This will make the employer want to read more. 

Our tutorial on how to create a personal statement will help. 

Top tips for writing your CV

There are some simple dos and don’ts when it comes to writing your CV. We’re here to keep you right with our top tips:

Keep it brief

Employers spend around 30 seconds looking at your CV before deciding whether to give you an interview or not. So keep yours to one or two sides of A4, and avoid big long sentences.

Read it back

Don’t forget to proofread your CV. The easiest way to check for mistakes – or sentences that don’t sound right – is to read it aloud. It can be difficult to spot typos in your own writing, so getting someone else to check it can be super helpful.

Check your social channels

Some employers will look you up before giving you an interview. Make sure there’s nothing that might put them off on your social media – or simply make them private!

Be real

Be honest about your experience so far, and don’t fill your CV with jargon, overly complex language, sarcasm or weird fonts. It’s important not to lie about your experience – it’ll mean you don’t end up in the wrong role, without the right support.

What next?

Ready to start your CV? Head to our CV Builder to get going. Once you’re happy with it, you can start thinking about writing your cover letter – something we can help you with, too.