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Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Tailor your CV for each application by focusing on what is most relevant: for example, a CV for teaching work will list experience relevant to teaching first, while a CV for performing will list details of performance training and experience first.

  • A CV should be no more than 2 pages (except if you are applying for an academic job).

  • Structure your CV in reverse chronological order, i.e. most current first.

  • Make it easy for the person reviewing your CV to see the key information when they scan through your application; bullet points can be read more quickly than long sections of text.

  • Be consistent with design and formatting, use clear headings and make good use of white space.

  • Use active verbs to indicate achievements, for example: ‘implemented’, ‘managed’, ‘established’.

  • Use positive adjectives relevant to the job, for example: ‘creative’, ‘enthusiastic’, ‘motivated’.

  • Don’t use abbreviations unless they are well known and widely accepted.

  • Ask someone to check your CV for grammar and spelling.

Cover Letter

  • Keep the letter to a reasonable length; a page or less should generally suffice.

  • Write a unique letter for each application as it is obvious when a standard letter is used.

  • Address your letter to a specific person by name, if possible, rather than ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.

  • Explain what appeals to you about the position for which you are applying and show the reader that you have done some research and have a genuine interest the organisation and in the role.

In General

  • Even if you are submitting materials electronically, print a copy to see what the document looks like on paper, and use a font size that is large enough to be read easily on a printed copy.

  • For material submitted electronically, use a screen-friendly font and ensure that documents are in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format, as this will guarantee that fonts and formatting are preserved.

  • Title your documents in a way that is helpful for the recipient: “TeachingCoverLetter.pdf” is not as good as using your name, for example: “JaneSmith_letter.pdf”.

  • Consider creating a common letterhead with your name, address, phone number(s), email and URL that you can use as your header on your cover letter and CV.

Application Forms

  • Before you start, make sure you read the employer’s instructions on how to apply, as they can vary.

  • The key to a successful job application, according to advice on the Prospects website, is ‘to be succinct, positive and clear, while satisfying each of the points listed in the person specification’.
  • Most application forms will include a section where a supporting statement is required and this needs to be well structured – possibly using headings – to set out how you meet the job criteria.

  • You will find useful advice on how to write a successful job application on the Prospects and TARGETjobs websites.

Further Support

  • The Careers Coordinator is available to provide advice to Trinity Laban students on making job applications. CV and cover letter examples are available on the careers page of Trinity Laban's virtual learning environment, Moodle. Trinity Laban alumni are welcome to receive careers support for up to three years following graduation. Email: careers@trinitylaban.ac.uk.

  • The graduate careers website, Prospects, offers advice on writing CVs, covering letters and completing application forms. It also has a section on interview tips, including information on interview tests and exercises, assessment centres and psychometric tests. You will also find example CVs and cover letters.

  • TARGETjobs offers comprehensive advice on writing graduate CVs and job applications, including information about how to tackle online applications, structure a graduate CV and put together a covering letter. You will also find example graduate CVs and cover letters.

  • Guardian Careers includes articles offering advice on various aspects of the job application process.