What makes a good CV?

A good CV should be:

  • targeted to the job you're applying for
  • simple, clear and concise - using no more than 2 easy to read fonts on plain white paper 
  • short - 2 sides of A4 paper (possibly with an extra sheet for research publications if you have done a PhD).  The CV shouldn't be bound
  • for design jobs, the CV could be creatively presented to showcase your work
  • free from spelling, grammatical and typing errors - give it to someone else to check
  • accompanied by a covering letter.  The CV and covering letter should be in the same font, layout and on the same paper

What should you include?

A CV should normally contain the following information, but layout will vary depending on which information is most relevant.  

  • Personal details: name, address, phone, date of birth, nationality (international students)
  • Education: postgraduate study, first degree, school qualifications, listing the most recent first
  • Work experience: relevant first, then other work experience - including unpaid
  • Skills: computer literacy, driving licence, languages etc
  • Extra-curricular activities: including student societies, sports teams
  • Interests: including sports, hobbies
  • References: personal tutor, employer, (voluntary work supervisory, work placement supervisor), project supervisor

Different kinds of CV's

There is no perfect CV.  But for your CV to be most effective, use the kind of CV format that suits you best - chronological, skills-based or combination.

Chronological CV  example
Skills-based CV  example
Combination CV  example
CVs and the Internet

Look at more sample CVs on the GradIreland website (linked from Advice on Jobs/Placements) and also in the publications linked from Information resources

Need to think about your skills and experience? See What skills and experience do you have?

You can get individual advice on your CV from CV Surgery on the Prospects Web.