CV’s: The Basics

The CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a personal marketing tool presenting your qualifications skills and attributes to the employer in a way that demonstrates your suitability for the job. A CV must be accurate, interesting and up-to date. It must also be presentable and relevant.


The Very Basics

  • A CV should be no more than 2 pages of A4 paper
  • Print rather than photocopy for better quality
  • Your CV should be easy to read with plenty of white space around text
  • Consistent style and font size (between 10 – 12)
  • Divided into clear sections
  • Not too vague or to specific
  • Check spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Keep a general template CV and tailor for each job application
  • Include a covering letter with your CV

Getting it Right

  • Avoid heading your CV ‘Curriculum Vitae’
  • Start with a name and contact details
  • If you have a home and term time address, make it clear where and when you can be contacted
  • Avoid unprofessional email addresses
  • Only use phone numbers on which you can rely on a professional greeting
  • Use reverse chronology for education and employment history – it makes sense to start with the most recent.
  • If you have lots of various experience it may be better to use a Skills Based’ layout – speak the Keele Careers service about this!
  • Space should be allocated to the importance of the info, i.e. your degree is more important than secondary education and should be given more space
  • Degree titles don’t give a great deal of information about what you actually cover, give some detail
  • Be selective and focus on what is relevant, this may be skills gained whilst studying, communication, teamwork, research etc.
  • You don’t need to give the full address of employers
  • Focus on relevant skills used in previous work and developed through previous jobs and / or volunteering
  • A ‘Skills Profile’ is optional that may help to highlight the key skills that you have that match the job / person specification
  • References can be added on a separate sheet or you can add ‘available on request’ to save space. 

Download a Sample CV HERE

Download Cover Letter Advice and a sample Cover Letter HERE 


Contact Jobshop on  Tel: 01782 734800  or  Email:

  • Balancing work and study                                                                                                              * Application co-ordination and shortlisting