You are the right person for the job, but does your CV say that?
When writing your CV, it is important to consider the following:
What do employers look for in a placement student?
- Demonstrable personal interest in computing that goes beyond taught materials (e.g. active involvement in open source projects, building and maintaining small networks for voluntary organisations)
- Demonstrable personal commitment to gaining knowledge and skills beyond the scope of your education (e.g. learning and using new programming languages, experimenting with home networking and services)
- Evidence of supporting skills for example Customer Service experience shows that you have communication skills
- Discipline and maturity
- Initiative and curiosity
- There should be credible evidence that you can do what you say you can, and that you have what the employer is looking for – add in links to any examples of your work if you have them.
Students who have been short listed for interview have CV's that:
- Are well thought out
- Are logically written
- Have detailed topics covered in their study and grades achieved
- Include sections covering skills/expertise
- Include sections covering work/project experience
- Are good at evidencing their ability
- Have made themselves stand out from the crowd.
Things to avoid when writing your CV: Common mistakes
- Referring to the wrong company (often a cut and paste error)
- Omission of contact details
- Missing exam results (always include expected degree result)
- Badly chosen email address (make it polite and professional)
- Poor grammar, poor spelling
- Document format (send to friend to make sure others can read it)
Ready to get started? Check out our example CV and use it as a template, or keep reading for more specific hints and tips.
- Your CV should be ideally be no more than 2 pages in length.
- You should always add a short Profile statement in which you sell yourself to employers.
- Make sure you include a Technical Skills section and an Other Skills sections.
- Don’t be afraid to Experiment to achieve the best layout. It doesn't need to be fancy, but it does need to be easy to read. (We are happy to take a look at your CV before you apply to any placement opportunities to offer any suggestions on changes.)
- Make use of headings and paragraphs for various sections which may include some of the following:-
- Education and Qualifications
- Technical Skills
- Transferable Skills
- Achievements o Responsibilities
Your CV is a selling document designed to help you reach the interview stage so you must sell yourself, remember you are trying to stand out in a sea of other applicants.
- You must be positive and avoid any negative statements; try to use action words
- Education & Qualifications – use reverse chronological order throughout
- Technical Skills: be specific with computer knowledge – this should cover any relevant skills that you want the employer to know about. Skills can be technical or otherwise but do emphasise those that are relevant.
- Work experience: highlight skills learned & experience gained
- Transferable Skills: e.g. good presentation skills; driving licence. Try to tailor skills to specific positions
- Achievements: outstanding achievements from school; university; or hobbies
- Responsibilities: gained from work experience or leadership roles
- Interests: include any interests outside of university, especially computing areas
- It is not necessary to add a date of birth or a photograph to your CV as these are not required, however there is nothing stopping you from adding them if you wish to.
Spelling, Grammar and Formatting
- You must use a spellchecker
- Proof-read your CV thoroughly for grammar & punctuation (Where possible get someone else to do this for you too)
- Use a common format - Like Word for example which will open for most people with no issues.
Still not sure where to start? Check out our example CV as a good place to get going and remember, please do make sure you talk to your Careers Service for advice on your CV.