Write a CV (for MSc)
Your curriculum vitae (CV) is a personal document, different from anyone else’s. The following is an example only, designed to provide you with some guidance on how to make your own CV stand out. You can use other layouts and fonts according to personal preference. It is advisable not to use Calibri, as this font tends to have large spacing between lines.
A CV is an informative list of your achievements in terms of qualifications, work experience, skills and extracurricular achievements with dates, locations and specifics. It is used to back up claims you make in your covering letter and most employers are unlikely to spend a lot of time reading it thoroughly. Therefore, it needs to be well-structured and informative so that any information can be found at a glance!
Your cover letter is your main marketing document, used to link your CV with the role you’re applying for and providing information, examples and explanations. It is a formal business letter and needs to be treated with respect!
Most applications are made by cover letter, attaching a CV (or uploading the CV into an online application form). Always follow instructions, but if you get asked to supply a CV, take the opportunity to send it on with a note similar to a cover letter to show that you are interested.
Your chronological CV
The example provided here is for a chronological CV format, which is what most employers would expect from a postgraduate student at KBS. [Note: More information about other examples and CV formats can be found on the Careers and Employability Service’s website and at Graduate Prospects. Other formats include a skills based CV, also known as functional CV, and if you chose this, ensure that the transferable skills match up with the actual job requirements. This needs to be checked every time!]
- Aim for 2 well-balanced A4 pages overall for UK applications (avoid 1½ page); if in doubt go for 1 page only; 1 page CVs are often used for investment banks and some management consultancies.
- Be consistent with your display of dates. These should be in the same place throughout your CV, either all on the left or on the right. Exact dates are not needed and year-year is fine for education. Do include the month in the work experience section.
- Make most of your horizontal space – avoid large margins, lists or tables. Also avoid frames around the whole document. These can take up a lot of valuable space and allow less flexibility. Provide structure through use of effective headings.
- Avoid too many different fonts along with underline, bold and italics, as this can give a cluttered appearance. Stick to one font, use a larger size for your name, and capital letters and bold for your key headings would suffice.
- Different formats apply for different countries. Check at Going Global (www.goinglobal.com) or Graduate Prospects (www.prospects.ac.uk/country_profiles.htm). Some may require additional personal details or a photograph. You do not need a photograph for the UK.
- Always keep your information concise – short and simple. Avoid introductions (for example: In this work experience …., and avoid complex sentences – stick to phrases and bullet points.
- If you want to apply for two different roles, i.e. marketing and finance, then produce two targeted CVs – one as your Marketing CV and one as your Finance CV, providing emphasis on the different modules that are especially relevant and emphasise relevant skills in the descriptions.
CV step-by-step guide for MSc Students
Please note that the CV template for undergraduate students can also be adapted for postgraduate students, starting with the MSc in the EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATION section, including your projects, followed by the first degree and high school.
Writing a covering letter
This is a formal business letter and needs to adhere to business letter standards. For a step-by-step guide explaining how to structure this and what to put in please click here.