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CV Advice

CV Advice

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
  • Lies
  • 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
    • Employment
    • Transferable Skills
    • Achievements o Responsibilities
    • Interests



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.

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