My Financial Career

Preparing your CV

When it comes to applying for jobs, your CV helps you get that initial foot in the door.


How do you ensure your CV is added to the 'I want to meet this person' pile, rather than thrown away with no chances of being considered?

Firstly, you will need to get the basics right. See our list of CV basics on the right.

Secondly, presentation is key. A successful CV is always carefully and clearly presented.
Nowadays people mostly apply for jobs directly with employers online or upload their CV onto recruitment websites to help them get noticed.

However if you ever do need to put your CV/application in the mail, make sure the CV is never crumpled or folded.

Thirdly, don’t give up! If at first you don’t get a job you’re interested in, keep trying. Lots of young people will be looking for roles at the same time as you, so competition for jobs can be intense. Don’t get disheartened if you aren’t successful on your first attempt.

CV basics

  • Personal and contact information
  • Education and qualifications
  • Work history and/or experience
  • Relevant skills to the job in question
  • Interests, achievements, hobbies
  • References (ask permission first)

Top tips for preparing your CV

No more than two pages of A4

A CV is your chance to show you tick the right boxes for the role you want. What you need to remember is that employers receive lots of CV's all the time so it is unlikely they'll read each one cover to cover. Keep yours short and make sure you include all your skills that are relevant to the role.

Understand the job description
Read the details from start to finish. It might be helpful if you take notes and create bullet points, highlighting everything you can do and any bits you can’t. For the areas where you are lacking, try to adapt the skills you do have. For example, it might be that the job requires some sales experience, so be sure to mention any retail work you have undertaken during your studies. It will help you demonstrate key skills, and show how they are relevant to the role.

Tailor the CV to the role
There is no such thing as a generic CV. Every CV you send to a potential employer should be tailored to that role, highlighting your relevant skills.

Making the most of your skills
Don’t forget to mention your key skills that can help you to stand out from the crowd. It could be that you have excellent communication or computer skills, speak a foreign language or are excellent at problem solving.

Making the most of your interests
Highlight the things that show off other skills you have gained which could be relevant to the role. For example, where you’ve taken positions of responsibility, worked in a team or taken the initiative.

Employers will usually require two references. Those should be from someone who has employed you in the past and can vouch for your skills and experience. If you have never worked before, use your teacher or tutor as a referee.

Young female teacher working one to one with student