How to write a banging CV

If you’re thinking about bagging yourself a summer job to help make that student loan stretch a little further (yes, we’re aware it’s a lonnggg time until your next one) then it’s v. important that your CV screams ‘hire me!’ Employers are busy folks so it’s crucial you give a great first impression. The good news is it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. Read below!

Tailor your CV to each new role

While it’s very easy to just fire off the same CV to 100s of different employers (guilty!) it’s also kinda obvious. Soz. So take the time to add in important details that are in the job description, or those which you think are relevant to that particular role, and it will make a huge difference. We promise.

Sort out the structure

For most students and graduates, ‘Education’ should come before ‘Work History.’ However, if you have a lot of relevant industry experience, you might choose to swap these sections. If this is the case then start with the most recent activity and work backwards. 

Back up your claims with evidence

Draw examples from your work, internships, volunteering etc to create a CV which clearly demonstrates how you possess the skills they require. Are you on LinkedIn? If so, upload your checked CV with your evidenced skills to it. Check out Saima's internship story here

Use active language

Active language conveys achievement and impact – so try using less passive words such as ‘I had to plan xxx,’ or ‘I was involved in negotiation to xxx,’ and swap them for ‘planned xxx,’ or ‘negotiated xxx.’

Stick to one or two pages 

There’s no one rule for when it comes to CV length but in general one or two pages is an accepted amount - academic CVs for example can be longer. Maintain clear section headings which make the document easy to read and use formatting tools, i.e. bolditalics, CAPITALS and spacing consistently. 

Ask a friend to proof read

Attention to detail is crucial so triple check all your spelling and grammar and ask a pal to have a quick read to check you’re not missing something. Reading it out loud to yourself is another useful technique as it should help identify any errors.

Test the 20 second rule

Apparently, most recruiters take around 20 secs or less (yes, seriously!) to scan your CV before making a decision about whether to hire you - so make sure yours is concise, clear and accurate and their eyes may linger a little longer on your page. Good luck!


For further advice, visit the CV page here. We recommend booking a CV Advice Appointment through Goldsmiths Careers Service once you have a draft CV, cover letter or application form.