Home > Careers > Three Quick CV and Covering Letter Tips

Three Quick CV and Covering Letter Tips

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Your CV and covering letter are your marketing documents; they’re there to show off your skills and achievements to the best degree. As such, one person’s CV might look very different to someone else’s, however there are always a few ‘non-negotiable’ things to remember.


  • Have you written ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top? Take it off. I know it might seem blunt but we know what it is and we’ve probably seen one before so there’s no need to label it. What we do want to see is your name, nicely spaced, with your contact details below or nearby.
  • Your spelling matters. If you’re writing your CV and covering letter in Word make sure your dictionary preferences are set to the right language. If there’s one thing you can say about people who see hundreds of CV’s a week, it’s that they are a picky bunch; grammar and spelling count. Especially check the spelling of the company name or person you’re sending it to. Misspelling this will probably get your application rejected.
  • Say it out loud. Spell check won’t spot a correctly spelled word used in the wrong context, i.e. using license when you mean licence (yes, there is a difference). Try reading your covering letter out loud, even in front of a mirror, as if you were introducing yourself to the company. You’ll soon start noticing things that don’t quite work, like extra long sentences, commas in the wrong place, and even words missed out altogether. There’s another bonus to this, you’ll be practising speaking out loud and your interview technique at the same time.

This is by no means a comprehensive list but it will definitely help you get started. Careers and Placements run CV feedback sessions to help you look at your CV and covering letter further. These happen most weekdays, click on the events calendar link in the tabs above for more information.



Jerome Price Photograph

Jerome Price is an Employment and Placements Adviser in the Careers and Placements Service at the University of Hertfordshire

Categories: Careers Tags: ,
  1. Angela
    12/03/2012 at 18:20

    Comma’s in the wrong place??

    • Careers & Placements Service
      12/03/2012 at 22:58

      Whoops! Spot the deliberate mistake! All corrected now, thanks for pointing it out.

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