Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

CV checklist

Person making notes with a pen

This checklist will help you to cover all the key elements of creating an effective CV.

Print this page if it helps you to work through the checklist and chart your progress.


Before you start

Have you:

  • checked what experience and skills the employer is looking for? Review the requirements listed in job advert or person specification
  • identified examples to demonstrate you have the experience and skills required? You may not be able to meet all requirements but it should be a good proportion.


Is your CV:

  • one or two pages in length? An academic CV can be longer.
  • consistently formatted with bullet points, same font and font size of headings? Suitable fonts include Arial, Calibri and Verdana, and font size 12-14 for headings and 11 for main text
  • focused with the most relevant items on the first page? 

Contact details

Have you included a:

  • professional email address? Your University email address will not be available three months after graduation
  • phone number?

Your address and LinkedIn profile link are optional and you do not need to include your date of birth, marital status or a photograph.

Personal statement (optional)

Is your personal statement:

  • 100 words or less? It must be related to the job you are applying for
  • a summary of what you can offer? For example, knowledge, skills, experience and personal attributes. 

Including a career aim is optional.


Have you:

  • started with your most recent or relevant education?
  • included course titles, dates, institutions and overall grades?

Optional elements:

  • relevant modules, your dissertation or other significant piece of work and the skills gained
  • academic awards of competitive scholarships


Have you:

  • identified the most relevant for the role you are applying for?
  • placed them in reverse chronological order (that is, the most recent first)?
  • included the job title and organisation?
  • described your main responsibilities using active verbs? One to four bullet points per job
  • structured those points, for example what you did, specific details, purpose and achievements, impact or value?
  • included factual details to highlight outcomes or positive feedback, for example a customer testimonial?

You may want to separate them into sections, for example, relevant experience and additional experience.

Skills profile (optional)

Have you:

  • provided three to five main skills listed on the person specification or job description?
  • used these key skills as section headings?
  • given brief examples of how you have demonstrated those skills under each heading?
  • avoided repeating yourself in other sections of your CV?

Additional achievements (optional)

Have you:

  • indicated how these are relevant to the role you are applying for? Think about the skills developed and knowledge gained

Positions of responsibility

Have you:

  • indicated how these positions of responsibility are relevant for the role you are applying for? Think about the transferable skills and experience gained


Have you:

  • included your interests? Avoid generic interests that could describe any student
  • explained the relevance and/or transferable skills relevant to the job, where appropriate

Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679