Sample CVs & cover letters
Check out our downloadable free sample resume and sample cover letter templates. Whatever your education or work experience, we've got one that suits you.
> How to write a resume
> How to write a cover letter
> CV - Left school early/no exp.
> CV - Left school early/work exp.
> CV - school/no exp.
> CV - school/work exp.
> CV - uni/no exp.
> CV - uni/work exp.
> Cover letter - no exp.
> Cover letter - work exp.
> Cover letter - cold calling
How to write a resume
A resume - sometimes called a 'Curriculum Vitae' or 'CV' - is a summary of your skills, education and work experience. A good resume demonstrates how your skills and abilities match up with the requirements of a job.
How long should a resume be?
Resumes give you the opportunity to sell yourself to a potential employer. A resume is not an exhaustive list - if it's too long it probably won't get read at all. The best resumes are usually no longer than one or two pages.
Do I need to change my resume every time?
You should change your resume with every job application so that it lists the skills and experiences you have that are most relevant to the job you're applying for. A tailored resume will be much more successful than a generic one, even though it means more preparation.
What if I don't have much experience?
While things like your academic record and work experience are typical ways to show how suited you are to a particular job, these are not the only things you should include. There are other ways to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job, including your:
- Personal traits - you're an honest worker, you enjoy being part of a big team
- Strengths - things you're good at or enjoy
- Experiences - volunteering or extracurricular activities
- Key responsibilities and achievements - any awards or recognition that you've received
How do I organise my resume's information?
The structure of your resume will vary depending on your work experience and education and training background.
A resume usually sets out information in a reverse order. Your most recent work experience and study details should be first on the list.
What do I include on my resume?
Here's a brief rundown on the essential things to include on your resume.
Full name and contact details including address, telephone number(s) and email address.
Education and training
A summary of your education and training history, starting with your most recent studies, making sure you include all training that's relevant to the job you're applying for.
Start with your most recent work history and work backwards chronologically, listing the name of the employer, your job title, the dates you worked there, and your responsibilities, tasks and achievements. Make sure you include everything that's relevant to the job.
Skills and abilities
A list of the things you're good at. These can be general skills or skills specific to a particular job. List them under broad headings such as "Communication" and "Teamwork".
Career objective (optional)
Tell the employer what type of job you want end up with; this shows that you've given thought to your future career.
A list of your hobbies and interests; this gives employers more information about you and also shows other areas of your life where you've gained experiences such as teamwork and commitment.
List people who can talk about how good a worker you are. Make sure you get their permission before including them on your resume. List their name, company name occupation, and contact details. For more information, look at our Who can be my referee page.
After you've written your resume, and before sending it, go through this checklist:
- Proofreading - Make sure there aren't any spelling mistakes, typos or grammatical errors.
- Tailoring - Make sure everything you mention shows how well-suited you are for the job you're applying for.
- Presentation - Make sure the resume is well laid out, easy to read and printed on clean, white paper in a standard font (like Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana) and at a standard size (10 or 12 point).
- Detail - Make sure you've provided specific examples of your achievements and how you've used the skills you have.
For some examples of ways to lay out and tailor your resume, check out our Sample resumes and cover letters page for some template suggestions that you can base your own resume on.
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