Writing your CV

Your CV is probably the single most important element of your job search, and getting it right is a task worthy of some serious time and attention.

A desirable position might attract a large number of applicants, so how do you make your CV stand out from the crowd? The following tips should set you on the right track.

Keep it clear and concise
Use a clearly legible font size and don't be tempted by fancy formatting. Keep to the point and use bullet points to draw the reader's eye to the things you want them to notice.

Talk yourself up, but don't lie
By all means emphasize your strong points, but make sure it's all within the bounds of truth. You never know what an interviewer might pick up on, and you should be able to explain and justify every word.

Tailor your CV
Tweak your CV so it highlights the skills that are most relevant to the job you're applying for. The recruiter will be looking for clear links between what you’ve done and what's in the job description.

Double check
There's no excuse for poor spelling and sloppy grammar. It's a good idea to get a friend to read it over if you're unsure.

More information

Members of the Institute of Physics can access The Physicist’s Guide to Writing your CV, which is packed with more useful advice and a sample CV. To request a hard copy or large-print version of this booklet, e-mail members.careers@iop.org.

This information was supplied by the Institute of Physics, which offers a range of careers advice and resources for people with a background in physics.