Top Tips on Writing a Winning CV

Whether you’re looking for part-time work while studying, have just finished your degree and are searching for a full-time job or are applying for placements – you’ll need to ensure your CV’s up to scratch! But not to worry, we’ve listed the top tips on writing a winning student CV and even added a CV template in for you to work from!

CV Do’s


1. Make sure you list all of the following:

Name – big and bold at the top.

Address – remember, this needs to be your current address so if you’ve moved away from home then it shouldn’t be your home address but your term-time address where employers can get hold of you.

Personal details – phone number, email address, LinkedIn username, Twitter username and your online portfolio link (if you have one).

Short summary about yourself – this will be about what you are studying/studied and what type or role you are looking for. You can also include why you’d be suitable for this role but don’t overdo it and stick to 2-3 lines only.

Key skills – this is where you’ve got the chance to really boast about yourself – do you have excellent IT skills, are you a good communicator? But make sure you write how you got these skills e.g. ‘good communicator due to presenting to audiences’.

✓ Key achievements – what makes you stand out against other candidates?

Education – this will include your school, subjects and grades and college or sixth form college, subject and grades.

Work history – starting with your most resent with dates and areas.

References or a note to say ‘References available upon request’ depending on how much room you have left on your CV, if you’ve not had a job before you can put in a reference from your Tutor (with their consent) and a personal reference from a family member or friend.

2. Make sure your CV is 2 pages long – 1 is too short and more than 2 is too long and a recruiter will get bored looking at it.

3. Ensure you structure your CV correctly – employers can get tons of CVs through, if your CV is all over the place they aren’t going to bother going through it.

4. Make sure your CV is consistent – the font, font size and general look of the CV should be consistent.

5. Spell check your CV and get your friend or family member to proofread it – you’d be surprised at how many people rush over their CV and don’t check through it for mistakes, working in Marketing we’ve come across CVs where people will be writing content and yet have quite a few spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in their CVs.

CV Don’ts



1. Put your photo on your CV, although this has been a debatable topic over the years, employers want to see your skills and experience and your photo will be on LinkedIn anyway.

2. Have a silly email address e.g., if you do currently have one like this then make a new one!

3. Post things on Social Media that can get you in trouble. Lots of recruiters now go onto Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to find out what a potential candidate is like outside of work, and when you post videos and pictures (even if it was years ago it’s never really permanently deleted from the web) recruiter will be able to see this, so just don’t post things that will get you in trouble in future and if your friends tag you in things you’d rather not be tagged in – change your privacy settings so you get to look at what is posted before it actually is.

4. Write in third person then switch over to first person! Either write your whole CV in third person or stick to first, don’t battle between the two – it looks inconsistent and employers get confused.

5. Leave a load of white space – employers don’t like white space because it looks like you’ve not done much over the last few years!

Remember to constantly update your CV, when you have a new Tutor, when you’ve got something you want to shout about or when your address or phone number changes.

CV Template

Here is a CV template for you to get ideas from:


Need some help?

The Centre for Academic Writing which is based in the library is a place where you’ll be offered guidance on writing CVs, letters and academic writing.