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Jobkit >> What is a CV?

What is a CV? Curriculum Vitae  Course of life

Your CV is ideally a two page outline of all the work experience, personal qualities and achievements that you have had and developed so far. Your CV can be used as a point of reference in so many ways:

  • Enrolling on a course – you may be asked about previous qualifications and when you achieved them. Your CV will save you having to try to remember.
  • Filling in an application form – most of the information that you need, will already be to hand on your CV.
  • Preparing for an interview – give yourself a confidence boost by looking at your CV. After all, your CV is really you on paper.
  • Making a call where you need to give information – your CV will act as a prompt so that you don’t forget anything.
  • At your interview – take a copy of your CV along with you to act as a memory aid.
  • Entering work or looking for a career move – many employers now request a copy of your CV. Keep it up to date with all your latest achievements and developments.
  • When discussing career choices – your CV is a great place to start because it shows your strengths, capabilities, qualities and interests.

Why do employers ask for a CV?

Recruitment is expensive and time-consuming. Your CV allows an employer to quickly gain an overall impression of you and match your skills, abilities and experience to the job they have to offer.

It is important to get to know yourself better, so that when you send your CV you know that you have shown in it the skills and experience that an employer needs. This is your chance to be noticed.

Many employers keep CVs on file as a first point of referral when other job opportunities arise, this saves time and avoids the expense of advertising new vacancies. So even if you’re unsuccessful in getting the job you actually applied for, you may still be offered a position with that company.


A good CV is:

  • Clear and concise
  • Well presented
  • Well organised
  • Well written
  • Interesting and relevant
  • Impressive – focusing on your achievements
  • Accurate – honest and supportable
  • Clean and without mistakes

10 top tips on preparing a good CV

  1. Keep it brief.
  2. A good layout will make it easy to read.
  3. Include personal details, full name, address, telephone number as well as an email address and mobile number if you have one.
  4. Have a personal profile that is a positive picture of you and gives a good first impression.
  5. List your qualities, skills and strengths.
  6. Start with your most recent job and work backwards (unless a past position is particularly relevant).
  7. Include part-time, voluntary and self employment positions.
  8. Keep your descriptions brief and to the point.
  9. Include all of your achievements, training and qualifications achieved.
  10. Make space to include your spare time activities and personal interests as they say a lot about you.

References – It isn’t necessary to include references on your CV. Simply include the statement at the bottom “references can be provided on request”.

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