University provides formula for writing the perfect CV

  • 42 per cent of recruiters have reconsidered an applicant positively or negatively based on their social networking profile, according to a recent survey
  • Study finds 58 per cent of CVs sent to employers have typos
  • University of Sheffield’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offers top tips for tackling mistakes and writing a successful job application

The University of Sheffield will reveal the secret to writing the perfect CV, application or internet profile in a new global online course.

With more than four people reportedly chasing every position in the UK, the jobs market is hugely competitive.

How to succeed at: writing applications is the fourth Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) hosted by the University of Sheffield through the FutureLearn platform and aims to help job hunters stand out from the crowd.

The MOOC, which has already attracted 17,500 learners, is ideal for anyone who has struggled with writer’s block when preparing a CV or application.

The three-week course, open to anyone, anywhere in the world, will equip learners with the right tools to produce more effective applications.

Experts from the University will share some of the best techniques and top tips to enable people to promote themselves through positive writing and explain how to analyse job advertisements and course descriptions to create tailored applications.

Tutors will explain how people can examine their own digital footprint and share advice on how to create a professional profile online. A recent survey found 42 per cent of recruiters had changed their mind about a candidate based on their social networking profile.

Dr Hilary Jones, Internship Coordinator at the University’s Career Service, said: “On this course we will help you sell yourself, create a fantastic CV and online profile, and write the best possible application for the dream job or course that you want.

“We are going to share some of the best practises you can use when applying for jobs, apprenticeships, placements and university courses. We will help you understand more about recruiters and what they are looking for by analysing job adverts and course specifications, as well as encouraging learners to think in more detail about what they have to offer.

“We will be giving insights from employers and admission tutors from a range of different industries who will be sharing what they look for and don’t look for in an application."

She added: “We will be able to show participants what they look like online to potential employers and how to make the most of that opportunity.”

The course, which starts on Monday 6 October 2014, includes articles, videos and interactive materials to help master the art of application and CV writing.

There will also be discussions where people can learn from and support each other, as well as do self-reflective exercises and quizzes. Throughout the course learners will be encouraged to collect a portfolio of their work which will help with future applications.

The free, three-week course is open to anyone across the globe. There are no prerequisites for joining this course and an academic background is not important – learners simply need an internet connection.

Once leaners have mastered the art of the perfect application they will be invited to check out the next course in the two-part series: How to succeed at: interviews which begins on 3 November 2014.

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Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 26,000 of the brightest students from around 120 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

In 2014 it was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education and in the last decade has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

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FutureLearn is a social learning platform based in the UK and providing free, online courses from world-class universities. Its distinctive approach to ‘learning through conversation’ attracts consistently high level of engagement and participation among learners.

FutureLearn’s leading British and international university partners join three British cultural organisations – the British Library, British Council and the British Museum – and the National Film and Television School to offer quality, higher education courses to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. FutureLearn is wholly owned by The Open University. Find out more at


For further information please contact:

Hannah Postles
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046