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CVs : advertise your value

Your CV and covering letter is your chance to show an employer the best of what you've got. It's about selling your skills and experience, and showing them you're the right person for the job.

Why a CV matters

Employers choose who they want to interview from what is contained on your CV. Therefore, it's really important that it's easy to understand and shows you in a positive light.

Spelling mistakes, poor grammar and missing information on a CV looks really bad. If it's incomplete or doesn't make any sense, employers may discard it

CV basics

There's no right or wrong way to set out a CV, but there are some standard sections that they should contain. These are:

References should be from people who know you well and can tell an employer about what you have done in the past. They are usually your last two employers. If you haven't worked before, you can use a teacher or a tutor from school or college.

When you're describing your interests, highlight the things that show off the skills that employers look for. Some really good things to include are:

Keep your CV to a maximum of two sides of A4 paper. Employers receive a lot of CVs, so it's unlikely that they will read each one from start to finish. In fact, most will make a judgment about a CV after a few seconds, so keep it short.

Remember that employers won't expect teenagers to have lots of work experience. The key is to think about anything you've done at school, what you do in your spare time or your interests. Is anything that you've done relevant to the job you're applying for? If it is, make sure you put it on your CV.

Don't be afraid of promoting yourself. That's what CVs are for after all

Your skills

It's important to include a section dedicated to your skills. The ones that you mention will depend on the job you're applying for, but some examples of key skills can make you really stand out, for example

Key Skills qualifications always include your formal qualifications and relevant training courses you've attended

Matching your CV to a job description

Different jobs need different sets of skills. Whenever you apply for a job, alter your CV so that it relates to the role you are applying for.

You don't have to re-write it completely, but you may want to re-draft or re-order some of your interests and skills so the most important ones are nearer the beginning of the document.

You might also want to remove things that you don't need to mention for a particular job.

Keeping your CV updated

It's really important to review your CV regularly