Learning to change
Learning to change

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Learning to change

5.6.1 Using a CV to present yourself

A CV is a document that you draw up in order to ‘sell’ yourself to a prospective employer. You might object that your current plans are unlikely to need a CV. You may not be looking to change your career or your job. However, the work involved in putting a CV together can be useful to you personally. Creating your CV gives you a clear idea about what you want to say about your qualities and skills. It can be useful in helping you recognise and appreciate these. It might start you thinking about how you would like to use your unique combination of talents in the future. On a more practical level it can be very useful to have an up-to-date CV to hand if you see an opportunity that interests you, whether this is for paid or voluntary work.

The following information was from the Open University’s careers website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] at the time this course was written:

Take it a step at a time.

  1. Identify the key requirements of the job or position you are interested in.
  2. Identify your relevant skills, experiences and personal qualities.
  3. Choose the most appropriate CV format:
    • chronological CV
    • skills-based CV.

(Here we are going to look at the skills-based CV. If you are interested in a chronological CV, it might be worth visiting the website at www.open.ac.uk/careers)

Your CV needs to:

  • draw attention to your strengths
  • be easy to read
  • be faultlessly presented.

Your CV should:

  • always be typed or printed on good-quality white or cream paper
  • have a clear font (10 or 12 point size)
  • use bold type to highlight section headings
  • have the most important points on the first page
  • use bullet points to break up and vary the text
  • look good visually (not too crowded or too sparse)
  • be free of errors in spelling or grammar.
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