In this section provide some general CV advice for student/graduate CVs, experienced candidates' CVs and pilot CVs (which are very different).
Despite online recruitment methods, the CV remains an essential part of preparing for employment. You can treat it as a 'living record' of your achievements, updating it as you gain in experience, providing a summary of your skills, knowledge and experience.
Many employers still request CVs, particularly smaller companies, and while online application forms are often used in graduate recruitment by the large recruiters, they are less common for experienced roles. However academic posts and civil service roles tend to use an application form in Word document.
Update your CV regularly and not just when you want to apply for a job. It helps you track and record your development and summarise your key skills and achievements.
The two most important elements are:
- Structure - logical layout, easy to find information, clearly written
Content - original and relevant information, written in appropriate style and language
Originality should come from content rather than use of colour, imagery, a variety of fonts etc. (unless you are applying to the creative arts industry). Aim, through the use of content, to come across as an original candidate with a unique set of skills, knowledge and experience to help you stand out from the crowd.
Watch out for … spelling mistakes, untidy presentation, typos, grammatical errors! The reader may dismiss the CV without reading any further. Some dispensation may be made if you are dyslexic or English is not your first language, but it is always a good idea to have it proof-read by someone you know with excellent written English.
Finally, be aware that recruiters only take a few seconds to read a CV before deciding if it is worth pursuing or rejecting, so you should ensure it has instant, but lasting, appeal!
CV in depth
Click on the pages below for advice on CVs to suit your professional experience:
COMING SOON: Pilot CVs