Crafting the Perfect CV: A guide for international students

Posted on: 11 April 2024 by Ujjawal Mittal in Hints, tips and advice

In this post we look at the key elements of a winning CV and highlights some of the resources available to students and graduates.

In the fast-paced world of recruitment, did you know that a recruiter typically spends a mere 5-7 seconds scanning through your CV? That's right – those few seconds are crucial for making a lasting impression and securing that coveted interview slot.

But fear not, because we've got you covered. Keep reading to discover the key elements of a winning CV.

The standard format of a CV used for job applications in the UK is a tried and tested template. While variations exist, this format is universally effective. You can tailor it by replacing headings like "Leadership Experience" with "Projects" or "Key Achievements," depending on your background and how you wish to showcase your skills and experiences.

Here are some essential tips to consider when drafting your CV:

  1. Keep it concise: Aim for a one-two page CV.
  2. Prioritize recent education: Showcase your degree and summarise previous qualifications.
  3. Integrate skills: Highlight relevant skills within your work experience section.
  4. Omit a summary if a cover letter is required.
  5. Minimal personal details: Photos, and a full address is unnecessary – just contact details such as email and phone number.
  6. Order of importance: Structure sections in order of significance – Education, Experience, Achievements, Skills, Interests, and Hobbies.
  7. Optimize formatting: Minimize blank spaces and maintain consistency throughout.

Our Digital Coaches conduct regular CV sessions both online and offline via Handshake. I personally benefited from attending one of these sessions, which significantly enhanced my CV for the UK job market. I highly recommend taking advantage of these opportunities before they fill up.

However, refining your CV based on learnings is just one step towards perfection. That's where CareerSet comes in – a valuable tool available to all students and alumni, free of charge!

CareerSet provides an AI-generated score for your CV, along with personalized feedback on areas for improvement. I was initially hesitant about using this tool, but the detailed analysis and tailored suggestions proved invaluable in optimizing my CV to meet Applicant Tracking System (ATS) requirements. Furthermore, CareerSet allows you to tailor your CV to specific job descriptions by analyzing keywords and required skills, streamlining the application process.

While receiving feedback from industry professionals is invaluable, CareerSet expedites the refinement process significantly. With constant updates and adjustments, achieving the perfect CV becomes an achievable goal.

But the journey to a flawless CV doesn't end there. Personalized feedback from our team of skilled Careers Coaches adds the human touch, providing invaluable insights and suggestions for improvement. You can visit our Career Studio as often as needed to fine-tune your CV and enhance its appeal to potential employers – drop-in at a time that suits you, there’s no need to make an appointment.

Remember, your CV is a dynamic document that requires ongoing attention and refinement. With the right tools and support, you can create a CV that captures attention and propels you towards your career goals.

Don't wait any longer – embark on the journey to your perfect CV today!

Ujjawal Mittal is a an International Employability Experience Intern in the University of Liverpool's Careers and Employability team.