A professional and compelling CV will improve your chances to land a truly challenging placement. Our Work Placement Officers can then assess which organisation best suits your needs in terms of your skills, professional background and English level.
British CV:s may differ from the standards of your native country. The National Careers Service, a publicly funded UK government body, has published guidelines for how to write a CV and we have taken and amended some of the information, which can be found below. You can also use the standardised Europass format to create a CV.
Your personal details
Firstly, you should include your name, address and contact details.
It is up to you whether you include your age, marital status and nationality. Recruiters should be able to make a decision about your skills and abilities without this information.
If you are adding your email address to your contact details, make sure that it is professional and creates the right impression. You may also want to add a link to a professional social media website, like LinkedIn or a blog. If you do, check that the website shows you in a positive light and doesn't contain anything you wouldn't want an employer to see.
Your personal profile
Your personal profile is a mini-advert for you and should summarise your:
- Skills and qualities
- Work background and achievements
- Career aims
It should only be a few lines and must grab the reader's attention. Try to avoid over-used terms, such as 'reliable', 'hard working', 'team player', 'good communication skills' etc. These terms are very general and don't help an employer to build up a picture of you.
For example, if your professional field involves working with people, try to highlight relevant, specific people skills such as negotiating, effectively dealing with demanding customers, presentation skills, handling conflict, or showing empathy. These help the reader build up more of a picture of your skills, knowledge and experience. Be brief - you can go into more detail and highlight examples of your skills in later sections.
Employment history and work experience
If you have been working for a while, you could put your employment history first.
If you don't have much work experience, you might like to highlight your education and training.
In this section you should start with your present or most recent job and work backwards. You should include employer, the dates you worked for them, job title and your main duties. Provide more detail on the relevant jobs you've had and give examples of the skills you used and what you achieved.
Use bullet pointed lists and positive language. Try thinking of ‘action’ words that you can use to describe what you did in your job, like achieved, designed, established, supervised, coordinated, created or transformed.
Try to relate your skills and experience to the job description, person specification or what you think the employer is looking for. Also include any relevant temporary work and volunteering experience.
Education and training
Start with your most recent qualifications and work back to the ones you got at school.
Using bullet points or a table, include:
- The university, college or school you went to
- The dates the qualifications were awarded and any grades
- Any work-related courses, if they are relevant
Avoid unexplained gaps in your employment history. If you had time out travelling, job seeking, volunteering or caring for a relative, include this along with details of what you've learned and skills you've gained.
Interests and achievements
You can include hobbies, interests and achievements that are relevant to the job.
For example, if you're involved in any clubs or societies, this can show that you enjoy meeting new people. Interests like sports and physical recreation activities can also show employers that you are fit and healthy.
Try to avoid only including activities that you would do alone, like reading, bird-watching or playing video games, unless they relate directly to the job that you are applying for. They may leave employers wondering how sociable you are. Make your activities specific and interesting!
You can include this section if you need to add anything else that's relevant.
Always stick to the same font and use formatting such as bold or italic very sparsely.
ADC College does not claim copyrights for these guidelines, which have been created by the National Careers Service. More information can be found on their website.