Careers Advice Appt

Get your CV ready for 2024 with our CV writing guide

Will you be job hunting in the New Year? Get ahead of the competition with our great hints and tips on how to write your CV and what to include.

Requests for advice about CVs are probably the number one query for all the Career Development Team and for such a short document it can be relatively complex and tricky to get right.

How to write your CV

Firstly, there is no absolutely right or wrong way to write a CV however there are guidelines which are covered further below. Number one rule is always focus on what the employer is asking for and follow anything they have advised.

Always think about the job being applied for. What key skills have they asked for in the job description? Its essential you include these in the CV. CVs especially with the larger companies go through Applicant Tracking Systems which means AI is searching for key words and anyone not addressing those fully runs a good risk of getting rejected.

Think what is most important to them and don’t cover skills which aren’t relevant before covering what they actually want. Think of the AI process and then the reader, what do they want to see? Put yourself in their shoes, think if I were recruiting for this role what would really interest me in an applicant.

What to include in your CV

Including effective content in your CV is a crucial step in showcasing your professional background and qualifications to potential employers. A well-crafted CV provides a comprehensive snapshot of your education, work experience, skills, and achievements. It serves as a personal marketing document, presenting you in the best light possible to prospective employers or academic institutions. Here are our top tips on what to include in your CV:

Name and Personal Details

Quite straightforward however if you have a LinkedIn profile include the URL here. Once the AI has chosen the applicants who meet the criteria, the Human Resources department will start to look at your application in more depth and may then look at your LinkedIn profile to give them more details on what you can offer and what you have done or have the potential to do.


This can give the CV a good start and can help shape and tailor it. Write a few lines about you now and what you want to do. Incorporate details of the job by highlighting some relevant skills.


Put your degree or Masters first and always outline key relevant modules. Always include the start and finish dates. If you have a dissertation then add this with the actual title. Always list your A levels or equivalent and GCSES and you can list these horizontally to save space.

Employment /Skills

This is where it can start to vary. You can play around with these sections so you could have a skills based CV that captures all the skills in one area and is focused on the job description. This can work well if you have a range of experience and you want to pull experience together under key skills. Or you can list employment and skills. Go with what seems to work for you bearing in mind the job and the company. Also with employment you can list them under Relevant Employment’ and say ‘other’. All employment experiences including volunteering are very much valued by employers so make sure you show them what you can do.


Employers like to find out what you enjoy doing outside of work and study so list anything you do. Make it come to life by adding some detail, say for example if you play sport for a team or what kind of books you like.


List 2 people who can provide a reference for you. This is normally an academic tutor and an employer. You can add the phrase ‘References available on request’. Always ask your referees if they are happy to do this, tell them in advance you are applying for jobs and what kind of roles and they then know they will be approached. Also you will need to then manage that process by remaining alert to any request from employers for the references to be sent. This can happen at any stage of the recruitment process so be ready.

Other CV tips

  1. Always, always tailor the CV to the job and go over all the key skills. Has everything been included that is needed? If you have a skill but it isn’t fully developed you can still list it. They are looking for potential too.
  2. Don’t do half or three quarters of a page, always complete full pages even if you need to space information out. You should ideally keep to 2 pages but if you have a lot of experience and really need to you can do 3 pages. Always make sure the key information about you, so your profile and your degree is on is on page 1.
  3. Always check for spelling and grammar by eye, don’t rely on spell checkers as they can miss some errors.

You can always book to meet the Career Development Adviser for your school for a CV review and more advice.

careersemployabilityemployabillity skillsemploymentgraduatejobs

Pamela Coppola • 18/12/2023

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