Using bold for job titles and schools
It's a good idea to use the "bold" style for job titles and employer names in your work experience and education to make these stand out.
2003-2010 St. Paul's Girls' School, London
A-levels:Chemistry B, Biology A, Maths C
Summer 2011 Next Retail (Sales Assistant)
In a survey of American employers
Different Types of CV
A survey of US employers found that:
If you are applying for posts outside the UK, remember that employers in other countries are likely to have different expectations of what a CV should include and how it should be laid out. The "Global Resume and CV Handbook" (available from Reception) and the Prospects website will help you prepare CVs for overseas employment.See our work abroad page.
Targeting your CV
If your CV is to be sent to an individual employer which has requested applications in this format, you should research the organisation and the position carefully.
In the present competitive job market, untargeted CVs tend to lose out to those that have been written with a particular role in mind. For example a marketing CV will be very different from a teaching CV. The marketing CV will focus on persuading, negotiating and similar skills where as the teaching CV will focus more on presenting andlistening skills and evidence for these.
If your CV is to be used for speculative applications, it is still important to target it - at the very least, on the general career area in which you want to work. Use our I Want to Work in .... pages and sites such as www.prospects.ac.uk to get an idea of what the work involves and what skills and personal qualities are needed to do it successfully. This will enable you to tailor the CV to the work and to bring out your own relevant experience.
Even if you are using the same CV for a number of employers, you should personalise thecovering letter - e.g. by putting in a paragraph on why you want to work for that organisation.
For example CVs, application forms and covering letters see www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/cvexamples.htm with notes highlighting points relating to the content and style.
Emailed CVs and Web CVs
In which format should you send your CV?
A survey of American recruiters found that:
PDF (portable document format) is perhaps becoming a widely used format now . There are PDF-readers for all platforms (Windows, MacOS, Linux). This also guarantees that the CV will look the same, no matter what reader is used to view the document. Modern versions of Microsoft Word contain a PDF export function or you can download a free pdf converter such as Cute pdf www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp: you install it and then "print" the document to a folder on your PC. PDFs can however sometimes prevent keyword-scanning software on job boards or applicant-tracking systems from picking up information that allows you to be found.
You can also use MS Word (.doc) format, however .doc format is not guaranteed to be compatible among different versions of Microsoft Word, so a CV might look garbled when opened with an outdated or newer version of Word. Also .doc files may not easily open on computers using Linux and Apple platforms. .doc-files may also contain sensitive information such as previous versions of a document perhaps leading to embarrassment. MS Word documents can contain macro viruses, so some employers may not open these. Send the CV in .doc (Word 2003) format, rather than .docx (Word 2010) format, as not everyone has upgraded to Word 2010, or downloaded the free file converter.
Rich Text Format (.rtf), or html (web page format) are other alternatives but as can be seen from the above survey are not usually preferred.
If in doubt send your CV in several formats. Email it back to yourself first to check it, as line lengths may be changed by your email reader.
Also see How to Send a Resume by E-mail