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Have a question about how to write an effective CV? Take a look for the answer to your question below.

Please contact the Career Development Office if you need more help.

Can't I just use the same CV for every job?

Not if you want to go in the "Yes" pile! Your CV needs to make direct connections between you and the prospective employer, so you really do need to do all that research and tailoring.

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Can I just say ‘references available on request’ at the bottom of my CV, instead of adding in the details of my referees?

This is really not a good idea. The key to a successful CV is to communicate all the important information about you as a potential employee to your prospective employer, without making them work for it. Asking them to go and get vital information for themselves is essentially making them do the work.

Remember, if they want to interview you and ultimately employ you, they'll want to check your references. Assume that they need full contact details of your referees, and don't make them go to the trouble of making a request.

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I've got some written references – should I include those?

Written references, or 'testimonials', are generally not as valuable to a potential employer as a reference they get over the phone or by email for one simple reason: Written references (testimonials) are not confidential. 

Not many people have the guts to write out a reference containing negative comments and then give it to you – employers all know this, so they'll have more faith in a confidential reference that comes straight from the horse's mouth (so to speak).

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I want to include a photo - should I?

Some (but not all!) potential employers value a photograph on a CV. If you want to include one, make sure you look professional in it and include only your head and shoulders.

However, in CVs for teaching positions, particularly at primary and intermediate levels, it's a great idea to include photos of yourself in a teaching context, and these can be full shots (select them carefully!).

For secondary teaching posts, photos are still valuable but would be more likely to be the head and shoulders shot on the front page rather than photos of yourself in a teaching context.

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