Structuring a CV

a PORT for Modern Languages tutorial

1 Structuring a CV

A CV is a record of your education and employment experience. But making that record is easier said than done, since the success of any application largely depends on how well you present your skills. You can find a lot of CV samples on the Internet and in specialist handbooks (we ourselves are going to reproduce a CV template on this website), but if you want your CV to create a good impression, you have to personalise it (it constitutes after all the first 'photograph' of your personal and academic profile for your evaluators). At the same time, you had better avoid too eccentric a format: aim for the happy medium, without being either impersonal or quirky. Likewise, you should not be too shy and modest about your achievements, but you must be honest. There is no reason to underestimate and belittle your successes, but never lie - accuracy is a merit in itself, and one of the most valued in research.

If applying for an academic post, you should give prominence to your major academic achievements, such as your BA and - if you have one - MA final grade, awards, prizes and scholarships. Highlight any publications, conference papers, conference organization and teaching experience you may have. If you are applying for a post in industry or business you may want to include any training courses you have been on, you IT or linguistic skills, or your driving license if this seems relevant. Tailor your CV to the specific requirements of the position for which you are applying.

If considering alternative careers, please access the Vitae website for support and information. Vitae brings together all those with a stake in realising the potential of researchers. They establish partnerships to champion the needs of researchers and demonstrate their impact on economies and society. Vitae provides online information, advice and resources for higher education institutions and researchers on professional development and careers. Please see:

A well-thought-out CV signals that you are a methodical and well-organized person. You could structure the compilation of your CV in several different stages, so that you can deal with them more effectively. Click onto the following pages for more information.