A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is a brief account of a person's education, qualifications, and previous occupations, typically sent with a job application.
An advert for you
A CV is a useful tool to make sure you’ve thought about your specific skills and experiences and how to market them to an employer. We offer a variety of services to help you improve your CV.
A CV is like an advert that highlights your specific skills and experiences, focusing on how the finished product (you) will meet the needs of the customer (employers). It is often submitted with a covering letter as part of a job application process.
Different types of jobs and different employers require different CVs and we can help you get things right.
How to structure your CV
The length of your CV can vary depending on the role you are applying for. Traditional UK-based CVs are usually no more than two pages of A4. There are variations by profession, for example, Creative CVs tend to be one page, whereas an Academic CV can be up to four pages.
Below you will find a selection of sample CVs to help you visualise what a CV looks like.
- Chronological: A traditional CV, that details your qualifications, work experience and skills. It is structured in reverse chronological order.
- Skills-based: Useful for those with little experience, career changes or if you have gaps in your employment history.
- Academic: A CV for roles within academia such as lecturing – it covers research, publications, professional memberships and tend to be longer than traditional CVs.
- Creative: For roles within the creative industries, media, marketing, where you can visually showcase your creative talent either on paper, by video or online portfolios.
- Creative - Acting: Includes a photo, whereas most traditional CVs do not.
- Legal: Visit AllAboutLaw for advice on legal CVs.
- Scientific: The IBMS provide a structure for scientific CVs.
For further sector specific CV examples, please visit Example CVs and job hunting tools | TARGETjobs
8 key things to remember
- Always put your most relevant information first and ensure this has the most detail.
- Experience and education sections are always presented in reverse chronological order.
- Think about the font and text size – not too big or small, it must be easy to read.
- Check your formatting and layout, attention to detail is paramount.
- Proofread your CV – look for spelling and grammar errors.
- Always tailor your CV to the position you are applying for.
- Attach a covering letter to your CV.
- Different countries will use varying CV formats, if you are planning to apply outside of the UK then it is essential that you research specific country requirements.
Create your CV
Your first port of call should be our CV Masterclass. We cover the different types of CV, show you how to target your CV to match particular jobs and develop a skills section and profile.
If you can't make it to a masterclass, you can watch our virtual CV tutorial. This step by step guide, available via LinkedIn Learning, covers each section of a CV, with hints and tips along the way.
Our guide, Creating your CV, will help you gain the knowledge and ability to create and tailor your CV. The guide contains a number of example CVs - we recommend that you start creating your CV using a basic template.
Before crafting your CV, please watch this video explanation of CV types:
Get your CV checked with CareerSet
Once you have a CV ready, we recommend that you login to CareerSet – an online platform that uses Artificial Intelligence technology to score your CV and generate constructive feedback, based on dozens of key criteria that recruiters and employers are looking for. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and provides instant feedback.
How to use CareerSet
- Log in to CareerSet using your University of Salford email address and student ID number
- Follow the authenticator link
- Upload a pdf version of your CV and click 'Score My CV'
- Navigate through the individual feedback sections on the left hand side
- Resubmit your CV as many times as you like to see if you have improved your score
Please note – CareerSet is only available to current students. Graduates and Alumni can access a CV Review Appointment via our lifetime careers service offer. Please contact the Careers and Enterprise team to arrange a suitable appointment time.
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CV review additional support
You can get further support with your CV having used our online resources. If you feel you need further assistance and cannot get your score over 50 you can then attend a Drop In. Our advisers can assist you with recommendations to improve the impact of your CV. Please bring your CV score to the Drop In.
Once you're confident with your CV, it's time to look for a job.