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How to write a Curriculum Vitae

Nearly everyone at some stage in their life will be asked to write a CV. When sending a CV you should also send a covering letter with it. If you need assistance, make an appointment with the Careers Department who will be happy to help you with this.

We have various leaflets to help students writing a CV but the following information from EClips is an extremely useful start for school leavers.

When you apply for a job or training programme, you may need to send a CV (curriculum vitae). A CV is a way of presenting your qualifications, skills and experience in writing – concisely and clearly. There's no one correct way of writing a CV – this leaflet gives some brief examples and guidelines.

A CV is your chance to 'sell yourself' to an employer. As first impressions count, take care with the content and presentation. Producing your first CV can be daunting, but here are some tips to help.

  • Word process your CV so that it can be easily updated, printed and/or emailed. Keep the length to either one or two sides of A4. If printing a paper copy, use good-quality white or cream paper and black text.
  • Your CV should be clear and well presented. Use headings and bullets, and an easy-to-read font. Double-check facts such as the titles of qualifications you have achieved, as well as spelling and grammar. Ask someone to check your CV before you send it out.
  • Include your name, address, telephone number(s) and email address; there's no need to include other personal details, such as your date of birth. Describe your education and qualifications, skills and work experience, other achievements and any relevant interests.
  • Adapt the order or format of your CV to draw attention to your strengths. Make sure the most important information catches the reader's eye.
  • Emphasise any relevant skills you have developed through work experience, voluntary work or through your interests. Be as specific as possible. Don't lie as you will be found out!
  • If you have not yet left school or college, list the qualifications you will be taking and the dates, possibly with predicted grades.
  • If you are responding to a job advert, you can customise your CV so that your relevant skills and experience are emphasised. If appropriate, you can use a standard CV, but highlight your relevant points in a covering letter.
  • If you are sending a CV speculatively ('on spec') to an employer to enquire about possible opportunities, you should include a covering letter; an example is given in leaflet 11.10.
  • You can put, 'names of referees are available on request', rather than name them on your CV. Get permission before giving the names/contact details of referees.

Example CVs

Example A shows the job advert and covering letter, as well as the CV. Chris sends a traditional CV, which lists his qualifications and work experience. The advert asks for a letter of application, so he writes saying why he wants this particular job, emphasising his relevant experience.

Example B
includes a 'personal profile' highlighting James's most relevant experience in an application to be a supervisor at a large clothing retailer.

Example C
is a skills-based CV. Because Tracey has not had a full-time, paid job, and has no particularly relevant qualifications, she wants to make the most of the skills and personal qualities she has that make her suitable for care work.

Example A

Assistant - Museum of Photography

Friendly, extrovert person, able to use own initiative and prepared to undergo training, required to assist members of the public and provide information in a busy museum.

You will undertake an Apprenticeship leading to qualifications at level 2, involving some time at college and assessment in the workplace. Experience of dealing with members of the public and some knowledge of photography would be an advantage.

Send CV, with a letter of application, to Mrs P Newth, Manager, Broadtown Museum of Photography, 17 Langley Park Avenue, Broadtown BD7 2SP.


22 Victoria Street
4th March 2011

Mrs P Newth, Manager
Broadtown Museum of Photography
17 Langley Park Avenue

Dear Mrs Newth

I am writing to apply for the position of assistant at the Broadtown Museum of Photography, which was advertised in the Broadtown Advertiser on 1st March. As requested, I enclose a copy of my CV.

My current position with Picture-it involves advising customers on different products and making sales. I enjoy dealing with the public. Although I am a team player (I am a member of a local football team), I also work well on my own initiative. I enjoy photography and take part in regular workshops organised by Broadtown Photography Club.

I am very interested in this position as I am keen to develop my skills through training and because of my interest in photography. I also feel that it's important to promote local attractions and facilities to visitors.

I hope that you will consider my application favourably, and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Chris Whitman


Curriculum vitae

Chris Whitman

22 Victoria Street, Broadtown BD1 4AL
Tel: 01999 692874 (home); email:

Education and training:

Broadtown Comprehensive School, 2005-2010 - GCSEs gained:

Art and design B
French C
Design and technology C
English C
Mathematics D
Science D


August 2010 - present: Picture-it camera shop. Full-time retail assistant. The job involves sales work, displaying new stock and dealing with customers' enquiries.

September 2009 - July 2010: The Old Crown pub and restaurant - part-time waiter.

Work experience - October 2009: Broadtown Leisure Centre. Handled customers' enquiries, updated customer booking database for sports facilities and helped to promote a new aerobics class.


  • Football - I have played for a local team for the past two years and enjoy keeping fit.
  • Member of Broadtown Photography Club - I enjoy helping to organise exhibitions and improving my photography skills.
  • I enjoy travelling and recently spent some time in Germany and France, where I took the opportunity to take lots of photographs.


The names of two referees can be supplied on request.

Example B

Curriculum vitae

James Greenworth

51 Turnley Road, Northborough NB5 2KA
Tel: 01555 765432
Mobile: 07879 123456

Personal profile

I am enthusiastic about pursuing a career in retail, having completed an Advanced Apprenticeship with My Look (a national fashion retail chain). This involved on-the-job training and attending college on day release. I would like to continue my training and take on more responsibility. I am particularly interested in dealing with the financial aspects of business, such as ordering and stock control. I also enjoy dealing with customers and solving problems. Whilst taking my GCSEs, I worked part time at Fenton's Bookshop, which allowed me to develop my ICT, communication and team working skills.


The following were achieved through my Advanced Apprenticeship (2007-2010):

  • NVQ level 2 in retail skills and NVQ level 3 in retail
  • Key skills level 2 in communication and application of number
  • City & Guilds certificate in retailing (level 3).

From St Theresa's Comprehensive School, Northborough 2002-2007:

  • 8 GCSEs at grades A*-C (English, maths, science, business studies, ICT, history, music and art and design).


September 2007 - present. Sales assistant at My Look in Northborough. I completed my Advanced Apprenticeship in retail last year. My job involves serving customers (including returns and complaints), stock control, visual merchandising and many other aspects of the business.

June 2006 - August 2007. Part-time work during weekends and school holidays in Fenton's Bookshop. Took payments, restocked shelves and ordered books for customers.

October 2006. Work experience (arranged through school): assisted in the motor vehicle parts department of Westborough Motors.


  • Music - I enjoy playing the drums and am part of a local band.
  • Keeping fit - I recently completed the Northborough Half Marathon and raised over £300 for a local hospice.


Names and addresses of two referees are available on request.

Example C

Tracey Jameson
11 Stone House Court, Newborough NB1 5SD
Tel: 01888 555555; Mobile: 07879 222222; Email:

Skills, abilities and achievements:

  • excellent communication skills with all age groups
  • experience advising customers and working with children
  • efficient at keeping notes and records
  • computer literate; have own PC
  • able to cope with pressure and use own initiative
  • team-working skills - I work closely and effectively with colleagues; I am also a member of a local netball team
  • enthusiastic and willing to train and gain qualifications.


2005-2010 - Newborough Comprehensive School. Gained an ASDAN level 2 certificate in personal effectiveness and GCSEs in:
home economics (grade C), English (grade D), history (grade F).

Work and other relevant experience:

2009 - present - part-time sales assistant at Tiny Tots Clothing, Newborough.

2009-2010 - regular babysitting for children ranging in age from 2 to 12 years.

October 2009 - two weeks' work experience at Play-times Nursery helping to look after children - organising play activities, reading stories and preparing snacks for the children.


Basic CV Template Example

Curriculum Vitae



Land-line & Mobile Telephone Numbers:


Date of Birth:


Key Achievements


School Attended                    

Qualifications Achieved                    

Work Experience

Job Title                   Company        Skills acquired



Work related


Addional advice and guidance for writing your CV (click to view or download)


16th April 2012