Careers and Employability Service

CV and Covering Letters


Example CVs

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  • Outlining your career history in reverse date order, beginning with the most recent items first.
  • It is detailed, comprehensive and biographical and usually works well for students with a good all-round mixture of education and work experience.
  • Example


  • Highly-focused CVs which relate your skills and abilities to a specific job or career area by highlighting these skills and your major achievements.
  • These work well for mature students and graduates, or for anybody whose degree subject and work experience is not directly relevant to their application.
  • Skills-based CVs should be closely targeted to a specific job.
  • If you are applying for posts outside the UK, remember that employers in other countries are likely to have different expectations of what a CV should include and how it should be laid out.

What should I put in an email when attaching my CV?

  • Put your covering letter as the body of your email. It's wise to format it as plain text as then it can be read by any email reader.
  • Stick to simple text with short paragraphs and plenty of spacing. Break messages into points and make each one a new paragraph with a full line gap between paragraphs.
  • Your CV is then sent as an attachment. Say you'll send a printed CV if required.
  • It looks good if you save your CV as a PDF, as this way the formatting cannot be changed, and it will appear exactly as you want it to on the employer’s screen. It also will make it easy for the employer to print it out.

Online CVs, portfolios and LinkedIn

  • It's a good idea to have your profile and CV (without personal details such as your address) on LinkedIn.
  • Web CVs use HTML format. You can include the web address in an email or letter to an employer. They have the advantage that you can easily use graphics, colour, hyperlinks and even sound, animation and video.
  • The basic rules still apply however - make it look professional.
  • They can be very effective if you are going for multimedia, web design or computer games jobs where they can demonstrate your technical skills along with your portfolio.

Further Help

  • Take a look at the Careers and Employability Service: Making Applications
  • phrase dictionary provide useful phrases for CV writing, letters of application, and business letters in 14 languages including French, German, Spanish, Polish, Chinese and Japanese.
  • We run talks and workshops on CV preparation throughout the year, and offer quick advice appointments of 15 minutes to look at CVs.
  • We also offer a range on booklets on career-related topics, including “Making applications”. Soon to be online but in the meantime pop over.



Careers and Employability Service - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 11/04/2019