Words Count In Your CV
We generally advise that CVs are no longer than 2 pages, it is important to make every word count. What you say and how you say it is very important.
Here are some tips to help:
- Think about WHO you are approaching with the CV and what is is for? A job, internship, placement, or speculative application. Think about the culture of the organisation, is it a traditional employer or a more creative one? Remember to save different CV versions, they might come in useful later.
- Your CV should always be well laid out, easy to follow and adopt a professional tone. Think about how you want to come across, choose words that reflect this.
- If you have a job description then use this as the basis for your skills section. Some employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to check if you have included the key words from the job description and provided good strong evidence of these. If you haven’t then your application is unlikely to progress much further. Even if they don’t use an ATS they will be checking manually for the key words in your CV. These can show that you have the ability to do well in the opportunity on offer.
- Think about the words that sound the same but have very different meanings, known as homophones. It is very easy to get these wrong and create a different meaning. Examples of this are ‘their and there’ and also other less obvious ones such as ‘stationary and stationery.’ Check for this as it won’t necessarily come up in a spellcheck.
- Always check your spelling and grammar and never use slang words or abbreviations.
- Watch the language you are using and the image you are creating. Its not generally a good idea to talk about tasks being boring, even if you are trying to say that you will do them. All jobs have repetitive elements to them and its better to show that you will approach all tasks in a professional manner.
- Similarly, avoid sentences with ‘I/we had to’. It can sound like you were forced to do something when it should have been accepted as part and parcel of your course/job etc.
- As CVs are relatively short in length, we tend to advise using a mixture of written text and some bulletpoints to save space. However, you need to make sure even if something is relatively short it makes sense to the reader.
- There is an excellent section on our University of Brighton careers service website which can help with writing a CV https://www.brighton.ac.uk/careers/looking-for-a-job/careers-advice/how-to-write-a-cv/index.aspx
- You are also very welcome to talk to one of our members of staff about your CV. https://www.brighton.ac.uk/careers/contact-us/index.aspx
Best of luck!