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CV & Covering Letter

CV (Curriculum Vitae)

This is a document which outlines your work history, qualifications and skills to show potential employers why you are eligible for the job that you are applying for.

Covering Letter

This is a letter to introduce you and your CV and is sent together with your CV and/or application form. It will outline some of your key skills and why you are applying for a particular vacancy

Other examples and templates to create your own: 

Example CV student

Example CV Work Experience

CV template

Adult & ESOL skills based CV template

Adult template

British Council: Learn the basics of building a CV

Guidance on writing a covering letter

Example Cover Letter

Need help writing a CV or a covering letter?

Book an appointment with a Careers and Employability Adviser here
















12 Most Common CV mistakes

1. Not checking for typos 

Always use spell-check and read your CV carefully. 


2. Not getting someone else to check it too 

Get a second pair of eyes (it can be a friend or family member) to look for spelling mistake or grammar issues and check if it makes sense them. 


3. Not proof reading

Your CV should make sense to someone outside your industry – or even your parent. So, explain who ‘Joe Bloggs Ltd’ are and what you did there. 

4. Making it too wordy 

Too many words in your CV and people won’t read it.  Use short, descriptive sentence and bullet points. 


5. Worrying about the number of pages 

Two pages is good.  Lots of experience does not mean lots of pages. 


6. Adding a photo 

Leave this for your LinkedIn profile. Its not needed in the U.K. 


7. Inappropriate social media profiles 

LinkedIn or Twitter profiles can be considered as your personal brand. 


8. An unoriginal personal profile 

Make your personal profile different and interesting. Talk about your skillset! 


9. Unprofessional fonts or colours 

Bright colours, flowers or emojis although pretty, keep it professional and easy to read. 


10.  Missing information and other gaps 

You need dates for all roles. Make sure, if there are any gaps, you can explain them. 


11. Incorrect personal details 

Check it, double check, and check again that all your personal details are up to date. 


6 Tips for the perfect Cover Letter

With employers often receiving many applications for each vacancy, you need to ensure that your cover letter makes a lasting impression for the right reasons. Here are some tips to increase your chances of success: 


1. Tailor to the organisation

You should rewrite your cover letter every time you apply for a position in order to target the company. Sending out a generic letter for all applications rarely yields positive results and recruiters can spot your lack of time and effort from a mile away. 


2. Proofread

Never rely on a computer spellcheck program to pick up every mistake. Print off your cover letter and double-check for spelling and grammar errors before passing it to a family member or friend to look over. Also, make sure that your own contact details and the company name are correct. 

3. Format

Presentation is important so you will need to format your cover letter properly. Make sure the document is as uncluttered as possible, use the same font and size as you use in your CV and if you are sending it through the post or handing it in use good quality plain white paper to print it on. 


4. Identify your USPs

They are your unique selling points. Be positive about what you have to offer and clearly outline how your skills and experience meet those requested in the job description. Demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate. 


5. Include examples

Back up the claims in your cover letter with real evidence or examples that show how and when you have used your skills and experience. 

6. A cover-all covering letter

It’s tempting to just copy and paste your covering letter or email….the bottom line here is  

Always personalise to the company and role you are applying for. 

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