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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds ARCHIE ROY: Hello, I’m Archie Roy. I’m one of the careers advisors at the University of Glasgow responsible for the School of Education. And what I intend to do here is to give you some hints and tips about how to create an effective CV– a marketing document– that is going to get you through to the job interviews that are all-important to you. So the main purpose of a CV is to do exactly that, to market yourself to employers. And you use a CV, of course, to apply for jobs– both advertised and in a speculative way as well. You can send out CVs to employers who perhaps show no signs of recruiting but they may recruit off of speculative CVs.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds Obviously, you use a CV to list your education and career history, usually in reverse chronology, starting with what you’re doing currently– or your most recent degree or your most recent job– and then working back in time. And you need to customise your CV as well so you’re demonstrating your relevant experience. And you would prioritise that in a number of different ways through the CV– deciding what goes on to page one rather than page two; deciding how much space to give each element of content. You also use your CV to customise what you say you offer to the person’s specification for the job, if there is one. So you’re selling your relevant skills, qualities, and achievements for that job.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds And of course, you use the CV to obtain that all-important interview, to get you through to the next stage of the selection and recruitment process. Let me say a few things now about CV content. Usually, in the UK, you would start with your name at the top rather than saying, “CV”– because it’s clear from the design of the document what the document is– so your name and then your contact details. You could have a personal profile. If so, that’s just two or three lines at the top of your CV to emphasise a few key strengths that you have for the job and also the kind of job– and even the kind of employer– that you’re looking for.

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds And then, if you have recently been in education or you are currently in education, you would usually start with an education section. And– rather than just saying what it is you’re doing in a line or two– you would want to say a bit about the content, or the degree, or the programme. I’d just sample the content and then add any relevant skills that you feel you’ve developed, particularly from doing the educational programmes– so teamworking, lab skills, analytical problem solving skills, and so on. Then, probably when you’re still on page one of the CV, you would talk about employment. And often, it’s best to start with the most recent and work back in time.

Skip to 2 minutes and 56 seconds But you can customise that if you need to. What I would say is that regardless of when you did a job, within reason, you want to have the most relevant jobs on page one. And then on page two, deal with the other jobs– maybe the less important or relevant jobs. And like your educational programmes, you’re using your jobs to talk about you as a candidate– what you offer because of the jobs that you’ve done. So you’re talking about the skills and you’re talking about your activities and responsibilities in that work. On page two now, you’re talking about additional skills– any hard, measurable skills– like language proficiencies, IT competencies, and so on.

Skip to 3 minutes and 36 seconds And it’s also good to say a bit about your wider interests and achievements. So if you’re a student, you’ve maybe been involved on a committee with a student society; being a class rep; you maybe play on a team sport. Anything that’s active and social is good for a CV. And it helps enhance what you say you offer as a good, all-round candidate. Usually, you would say at the very end, at least “References available on request” or you can add in two referees with their names, job titles, and contact details.

What's in a CV? Part 1

Archie Roy is a Careers Advisor with the University of Glasgow and he’s looked at a lot of CVs in his time. His video will give you lots of great tips on what to include in your CV. Don’t worry about any references to the UK; his advice is for everyone, regardless of nationality.


Watch the video.

Next compare the tips to your CV.

Consider what you have included.

And what have you missed.

Finally, if you already have a CV then you should think about updating it using Archie’s pointers. To help you with this, there’s also a powerpoint presentation running at the same time in this video.

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This video is from the free online course:

Net That Job: How to Write a CV Online

The University of Glasgow