Writing a CV, especially if you’ve never done it before, or for a job you really, really want, can be daunting. Questions people often ask us are:
- How do I know what the employer wants to know about me?
- How much do they want to know?
- How do I tell them I’m ‘motivated’ or ‘have good interpersonal’ skills?
- Where do I START?!
This page will help you learn the answers to all these questions (and more) about how to write a CV.
How do I start writing a CV?
If you’ve never written a CV before or feel out of practice, start with our CV Builder Tool. CV Builder helps you structure your CV, providing advice and tips at every step of your CV creation process. There are lots of different types of CV, but you can make a solid start here, and decide on your preferred style later on.
How do I improve my CV?
For more experienced CV writers, or after you’ve completed CV Builder, analyse your CV. Using the same software as many large recruiters, CV 360 automatically checks your CV. It provides you with instant feedback and advice on what you’re doing well - and what to improve. This can help you start tackling those tougher questions like, “How much do employers want to know?” or “How do I persuade them that I’m ‘motivated’?”
NB: CV 360 may not be suitable for all types of CV, e.g, academic or legal. However, it can still be useful. It allows you to see your CV from an employer rather than applicant point of view.
What do I do next?
Once you’ve got the basics of CV writing sorted, you may want to book an appointment with an Employability Adviser. They can help you tailor your CV to the specific opportunity, help you translate your experience in language your prospective employer will understand, provide advice on how to tackle gaps on your CV or other potentially tricky topics.
CVs are an overview of your skills, attributes, and experience. Prospective employers use them to evaluate whether or not to invite you to interview. Every CV needs to be tailored the specific job. Now that you’ve used the resources on this page, you are firmly on the road to becoming skilled in the process of writing a tailored – a “winning” – CV.
Learn even more about CVs
- The Prospects website has examples of different styles and types of CV , including legal, technical, and teaching.
- Thinking of academia? Visit the Vitae site to learn more about academic CVs
- Targetjobs has a range of useful CV templates to help you get started
- How to build a portfolio - useful advice from the University of the Arts Careers Service
- Visit the Oxford Brookes careers website for example part-time job CVs for a variety of roles, including in hospitality, retail, care, and admin