We hope you will find the following CV and applications guides helpful. These have been written by Durham students who have gone through the application process and gained graduate job offers themselves.

CV Guide

Applications and Covering Letter Guide

Your CV should provide the best possible reflection of who you are, what you’ve done and why you are the right person for the role. Creating a professional CV is vital to your success in your application process. While a strong CV will not guarantee advancement, a poorly prepared CV may eliminate you from consideration. Take as much time as you need to prepare a document that clearly and succinctly states your education and work experience.


  • Highlight the firm’s key competencies
  • Use reverse chronological order (most recent experience first)
  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Include relevant coursework, work experience and leadership roles
  • Include honours and awards
  • Write in an active voice, using verbs
  • Use a ‘professional’ font
  • Ensure spelling and grammar are correct
  • Show high attention to detail with consistency of formatting


  • Go over one page
  • Include a personal statement
  • Misrepresent your experience
  • Repeat phrases
  • Include personal information (age, nationality)
  • Use full sentences (“I did this…”)
  • Use abbreviations

If you have work experience, you should communicate information about the size of the organization, the scope of your role and your specific accomplishments in each role. If you went above and beyond job requirements, highlight this fact.

Remember that recruiters looks for core competencies in candidates. They look for demonstration of excellence across these competencies in your background, as indicated in your CV:

  • Commercial awareness
  • Organisation
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Drive and work ethic
  • Time management
  • Negotiation/persuasion
  • Analysis and research
  • Problem-solving

Keep these criteria in mind when you are deciding what to highlight in your CV. For example, if you made an impact as the leader of a relatively small campus organisation, this is likely more impressive than simply having been a member of a prestigious organisation. Recruiters want to know the impact you have made.

Source: Nomura CV Writing Tips