Build a CV/cover letter

Your CV is your chance to sell yourself. The information you supply here will be used to match your skills to the job. Make sure you’re thorough and give examples to show you have the experience and know-how we’re looking for. This CV guide below and downloadable template will help you to get started:

CV guide:
Keep your CV to two pages maximum and use an internet friendly font such as Ariel or Times New Roman. Avoid heavy graphics, tables, images or complex formatting  – these may change the look of your CV when it’s emailed.

CV title:
Put your name, address, telephone number and email in a header at the top of each page.

Sum up your skills in a 30-40 word statement. Mention skills that apply to the role rather than a list of personal ambitions. Employers want to hire people that will help to make their company better. Are you organised, hardworking, a team player? Think about what you can bring to the table. 

Qualification description:
List places you’ve studied at (school/college/university), the start and finish dates, subjects, type of qualifications and the grades.

If you are a mature further education student, list your highest qualification only.

Work history:
Title each role with the organisation you worked for, the start and finish dates and your job title.

Starting with your most recent job, talk about the skills you used and expertise you developed that are relevant to the role you’re interested in.

Rather than describing role and responsibilities, talk about your achievements and contributions to the business. It’s not what you did but how you did it that counts!

Interest and hobbies:
Here you can talk about yourself; your hobbies, your passions and your achievements outside of work. Try to show how the skills that you’ve built through your hobbies will benefit you in the role you’re interested in. And remember that it’s not just what you’ve done, but how you’ve done it that will impress a prospective employer.

Awards and membership of professional bodies:
Whatever award you’ve won or qualification you’ve gained – whether it’s a grade on a musical instrument or a second language – detail the awarding body, the date, the grade and what the award represents. 

Use the name, job title and contact details of a course leader, mentor or professor at your university, or an employer here.

If you’d like more information about writing the perfect CV, visit the National Career Service website using the link below. Please note, Royal Mail does not manage the National Careers Service site, and it's not mobile optimised.

CV Advice from National Careers Service

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