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Writing an excellent CV

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CV stands for curriculum vitae (sometimes called a resume). It's a record of your work experience, skills and qualifications, so it's important that it's an accurate reflection of you. Writing a good CV is tricky, and as it's your first contact with a potential employer the message it sends must be a good one. Your CV will tell an employer whether you're likely to be the right person for the job, and whether it's worth meeting you at an interview.

A whole industry has been built around writing and reviewing CVs and there's a lot written about the best way to write a CV. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the weight of information and difficult to judge what's good advice and what's not. However, there are some universal truths you do need to bear in mind when you write your CV:

Activity: writing a great CV - 30 minutes

There's has been a huge amount written on CV writing, and you need to be able to sort out what advice you'll take and what you won't. Books can be expensive, but there's lots of good free advice out there if you know where to look.

1. Get in touch with your university or college careers service, and see if they offer any CV-writing clinics - careers services often offer excellent help with all aspects of the job-hunting process, so make the most of yours.

2. Visit the library and see if they can recommend a book on CV writing.

3. Try a Google or Yahoo search for "CV writing" and see if you can find any useful tips - be discerning though, there's a lot of poor-quality, inaccurate information on the Web.

4. Make a list of all the hints, tips and ideas for CV writing that you think you'll find most useful. You can use them for guidance while you write your CV.

Recommended Further Reading

Now all that's left to do is to write your CV. When you've finished a first draft, ask someone who's opinion you trust to read it for you and suggest changes and improvements. When you're happy with your CV get it checked by your college or university careers service - they're experts in the art of CV writing.

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