Career advice

Cover letter and CV advice

This section provides guidance on how to successfully apply for your next role. Get your cover letter and CV noticed with these tips on how to compose a winning application.
We surveyed 2,000 members of the public and 480 recruiters, and compared their opinions to find out what’s important on a CV. Use our interactive chart to see which aspects of your CV matter more than you think and which aren’t worth worrying about.
10 things to remember when writing a cover letter
A good covering email will make your CV stand out from the countless others that pass across an employer's desk. Here are 10 ways to ensure yours makes an impact.
Why cover letters are important
A cover letter is the first impression that lodges in the mind of an employer, making it one of the most critical components for getting noticed. Research suggests that employers favour CVs that are accompanied by a cover letter.
Covering letter examples
Cover letter template.
How to address selection criteria
The selection criteria outlines the experience, skills, personal attributes, qualifications, knowledge and expertise needed to do a job effectively. It is vital you match your qualities to the selection criteria when writing a cover letter.
10 things to remember when writing your CV
A meticulously crafted CV can, on occasion, secure you a job and will always improve your chances of reaching interview stage. Make sure yours ends up in the 'yes' tray.
CV template
Standard CV template.
How not to write your CV
As you can imagine from nearly two decades worth of CVs crossing my desk, I’ve seen an awful lot of nonsense written in the name of ‘selling myself’. Sadly, despite what you might expect, the number of genuinely hilarious ones I have received can be counted on one hand, and in most cases these are of questionable provenance.
Selecting and preparing referees
Referees are crucial to securing a job because what they tell an employer can potentially make or break your chance at a position within the company. Therefore, it's very important you select your referees carefully.
What employers and recruiters look for in a CV
Your CV needs to hook its reader within seconds of them picking it up if you’re to stand any chance of progressing to the job interview stage. Recruiters and hiring managers can receive hundreds of applications for a role, and sometimes only have the time to scan CVs before deciding whether to progress to a meeting.
How to avoid CV clichés
When you’re writing your CV you should constantly be thinking, ‘is that relevant, and does it position me as a good fit for the job?’
How to explain gaps in employment on your CV
You might be tempted to ignore gaps in your career on your CV in the hope that employers won’t notice them. But for many hiring managers, a CV that’s full of unexplained breaks is a warning sign and they might disregard your application straight away.
How to write a CV when moving from self-employed to employment
If you’re making the transition from being your own boss to joining the world of employment, you need to make sure your CV is selling all your transferable skills.