Careers ServiceCVs and cover letters

Curriculum Vitaes (CVs)

Your CV is an essential part of most job applications. Even when the main method of application is an online form, you sometimes have to attach a copy of your CV.

As they can be the first impression an employer has of you, CVs need to be of a professional standard. Tailoring your CV to meet the needs of the organisation you are applying to is more likely to yield success.

Log in and work your way through our CV resources to make your CV work for you:

Cover letters

You should always include a cover letter with your CV. A cover letter demonstrates your motivation for applying. It also introduces your CV. And you can relate it to the specific opportunity you are applying to. You should use it as an opportunity to persuade the employer that you are a suitable candidate for the job.

Log in and work your way through our cover letter resources. This will ensure you’re making the most of your cover letters:

International CVs

Internationally, what is expected in a CV or Resume tends to vary.  Make sure you know what the differences are.

How to apply outside the UK (student login)

How to apply outside the UK (graduate login)

Social media can be a useful tool in your job search.

Have your CV, application or cover letter checked

This service is for undergraduates, taught postgraduates and graduates. Please speak to Careers Service reception to arrange a CV check appointment, if you're a postgraduate research student.

Before you book your appointment:

  • have you used the advice on our making applications pages?
  • have you checked our CV and Cover Letter booklet
  • if the document you wish to have checked is a CV, have you used CV360 on our online careers toolkit? This will check for spelling and grammar mistakes, missing sections, or poor layout
  • is there a draft of your document that can be sent to the Careers Service before your appointment?

The Careers Service provides many resources to help you create an effective CV. The appointment with the Adviser should be towards the end of the process, not at the beginning.

Before booking, have a look at the information below. We offer appointments throughout the week. You may book your appointment two days in advance. If you are a graduate, you must register with the Careers Service before you can use our services.

The CV/Application checking service is popular. To ensure everyone gets an opportunity, we limit this service to one appointment per person within a four-week period.

You should log in using your Pegasus (DS) log-in if you are a registered student.  The sessions run several times per week.  Please note if you are a graduate you must register with the Careers Service before you can use our services.

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER THIS SERVICE IS EXTREMELY BUSY. Booking opens at 11am, 2 days in advance of each session.

We'll check one document during your appointment.

We'll check your CV or application form to help you make the final, finishing touches to it. You're expected to have used our CV advice so that your CV is already good. You can download a copy of our CV booklet from MyCareer (DS login required).

CV advisers will then give you feedback on its:

  • structure
  • language
  • impact
  • presentation
  • the extent to which the CV or application form is tailored towards your chosen sector, individual employer, or postgraduate course

We will not rewrite the CV/application form for you, or amend the CV/application form itself. The wording needs to be your own. We'll provide you with pointers about what needs improvement and why. This means you can improve it for yourself.

We'll point out sections where there are serious errors in grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling. But we do not correct these for you. We're not offering a "proofreading" service. Ask a friend to look for these types of mistakes before sending out your CV/application form.

We'll discuss only your CV/application form/cover letter. If you need other information or advice, speak to our Information Team. Or, arrange an appointment with a careers consultant.

Applying for a Masters?

You will need a personal statement instead. Learn more about writing a personal statement for postgraduate study and view examples of personal statements.

Applying for a PhD?

Learn more about writing a PhD cover letter.          

Advice on the use of Generative AI (including ChatGPT)

We asked ChatGPT for advice on using it for job applications. Below are the key points, which we agree are helpful:

  • Although ChatGPT can be a helpful tool for drafting content it is essential that you personalise what you write in order to showcase your skills, experience and personal attributes. Always tailor what you write to the organisation and role
  • ChatGPT doesn’t always generate accurate information. Always check facts, edit for accuracy and relevance and ensure the language and tone is appropriate for a job application
  • Be honest: if using ChatGPT might raise issues or concerns with an employer explain why you used it and how it helped you

This advice applies to all submissions you make as part of the application process including CVs, cover letters, application forms, essays, reports, psychometric assessments, and technical challenges. Submitting work written by someone else, including AI, is viewed as plagiarism by employers and as such would result in the rejection of your application.

The Careers Service has many tools to support you in writing unique content for your applications and in preparing for every stage of the application process. Please use them and seek advice if you are unsure so you are not caught out.