Writing Effective CVs & Covering Letters

An effective CV or job application is one that gets you an interview. Employers may not read your CV in full and may initially be looking for a reason to reject you!

Typically this could include:

  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • Unprofessional presentation
  • Content lacks relevance to the role applied for
  • Ability not adequately evidenced

Producing an effective CV is essential if you want to get noticed for the right reasons.

You can now submit your CV via our online portal, Careersonline

To do this, login using your usual student username and password. If you have graduated and your student id has expired, please register for an alumni account from the above link.

After logging in, select CVs from the top right hand menu and follow the instructions to upload your CV and request a review. One of our Employability Advisers will respond within 3-5 working days with appropriate feedback.

Once it is ready to use, you have the option to publish your CV on Careersonline to share with employers who are recruiting through the service.

Book an appointment

If you would like to speak with an adviser following the feedback that you receive, appointments can also be made via the above portal (select Book/ Appointments from the task bar to see which slots are available).

Any questions? Please email careers@beds.ac.uk

  • AllAboutCareers - core skills - writing a CV (includes international CVs)
  • Jobs.ac.uk - CVs and covering letters for academic and research applications
  • Prospects - advice and examples regarding CVs and covering letters
  • StandOut CV - how to write an effective covering letter with annotated examples
  • StandOut CV - comprehensive CV guide including tips on format and structure
  • TARGETjobs - advice on application forms, CVs and covering letters

For tips on how to write your CV and what to include, please see our guide which also includes samples of different styles and subject specific CVs, covering letters and speculative letters:

A Guide to Writing a Winning CV & Covering Letter [PDF]

The following guides have been produced by the University's Professional & Academic Development team (PAD) and offer advice regarding spelling, grammar and professional writing to enhance your applications.

The University of the Arts London have tips on how to write a creative CV.

Download the Creative CV Guide by Jan Cole to find samples and tips for writing CVs in the creative sector including art, design, fashion, photography and more.

The University of Leeds Careers Centre has some sample CVs in different job sectors which can be downloaded including: fashion and design, law, management consultancy, marketing, medical school, publishing and social media jobs. There are also examples of academic CVs.

To give you an idea of how to tailor your application to a specific area, see the examples below. This is not exhaustive but will show you how to demonstrate your suitability for working in a particular sector.

For details of employment legislation and when to disclose personal circumstances for applications please see Equality, Diversity & Inclusion


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