Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Succeed in the workplace

6.5 Preparing a CV

Described image
Figure 10 CV preparation

It is very useful to always have a good basic CV to hand. Even if you are not immediately seeking work, you never know when one of your contacts might spot an opportunity and open a door for you. So, you need to have one you can update or tailor quickly.

Your CV both gives facts and creates an impression of the kind of employee you would be. Just like an application form, it needs to be accurate, clearly presented, easy to read, and not too long. Remember though to include brief specific examples that demonstrate your skills and achievements to make your CV persuasive.

Whereas an application form tells you what the employer wants to know, for a CV you have to decide that for yourself. So use your earlier research about the job.

Be concise. Aim for a CV no longer than two sides of A4 paper. This means including only key relevant information. The examples show you how this can be done by the use of headings and bullet points.

Make your CV distinctive by including activities or achievements that may be unconnected to your work but that still demonstrate specific abilities that may interest an employer. You might be relieved at this point to learn that you do not necessarily have to do all the work on CVs yourself. There are online tools which can help. If you would like more information visit the Open University Careers Advisory Service website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

In the next section you’ll get the chance to put into practice everything you’ve learned about CVs this week.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus