Do you know how to write a CV? 10 tips on how to get it right

Do you know how to write a CV? 10 tips on how to get it right

Writing a CV should not be an arduous task, yet it’s something that many people seem to struggle with.

Quite often a CV can be confusing, poorly laid out, and as a result unsuccessful.

We understand how daunting it can be and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about as the majority of people at some point have struggled writing their CV with no idea how to properly format, nor what kind of information to include in it.

And what happens if you have a poor CV?

Recruiters, be they internal or external, don’t always have time to decipher messy resumes or call a candidate to attain missing information. CVs that are not presented correctly, use multiple fonts, read like an essay, or are missing vital information regarding roles and duties are quite often passed over.

Once you know how, putting together a good CV is easy and given how important they are, it’s bizarre that more time is not dedicated to teaching us how to write them in school.IMG_1137

Some schools and colleges offer extra sessions outside of timetabled classes, but many young people are not especially motivated to dedicate their free time to something that’s not mandatory, and often we don’t worry about such things until we need to!

We believe that it should be imperative that students are taught how to write a CV correctly, how to find relevant jobs, how to prepare for an interview, how to deal with rejection, and how to deal with multiple offers.

These are all essential life skills that just aren’t given enough attention during our education and this needs to change!

So, that being said here are some handy hints for getting that CV up to scratch:

Keep it presentable and easily legible

  • Stick to one font, remember that you’ll probably come back to it at a later date to edit it!
  • Avoid using tables, the formatting does not always translate well when emailed over
  • Keep it concise, recruiters are busy and do not have time to read an essay

Specify roles and responsibilities

  • Remember to include your job role for each position – be clear on your role
  • Include a brief bullet-pointed list of your main responsibilities, this doesn’t need to be exhaustive but it’s important that prospective employers know what skills you’ve acquired

Get your dates right

  • Be specific about the dates you started and left each position, it’s great that you have relevant experience but a potential employer needs to know how long you held the position to know just how relevant it is


  • Spelling and grammatical errors are possibly the biggest pet hate to employers reading your CV, those red squiggles are there for a reason!

Keep things in order

  • Make sure your contact details are right at the top (name, contact number, email address, and the town you live in) – nothing is more frustrating than hunting for a number to contact applicants onanya small
  • The best practice is to start from your most recent position and work your way backwards

Explain any gaps

  • Don’t brush over gaps in employment, whether you were caring for an ailing family member, raising children, travelling or just looking for work, include a short sentence explaining this
  • Equally if you were unemployed but took a temporary role or volunteered don’t forget to include it

Don’t be overzealous

  • Keep your personal profile brief with just a few key competencies and achievements, anything too long will be skimmed over
  • Focus on grabbing their attention and remember that you (potentially) have the interview to really sell yourself so don’t waffle on

Keep interests relevant

  • Everyone enjoys socialising and spending time with their friends, it’s irrelevant. Your interests should demonstrate a skill or particular personality trait
  • Sports activities are always good as they suggest an ability to work as part of a team and any volunteering work is an added bonus

Name the file sensibly

  • A long file name with an assortment of numbers, upper and lower case letters looks messy and gives a bad first impression
  • Stick to your first name, surname and “CV” on the end, then you literally could not have made it any clearer!

Double check it!

  • Have a family member, partner, or friend look it over – they may spot mistakes that you have missed! After staring at a document for too long we tend to miss minor details and a fresh pair of eyes is needed to pick up on them

Of course, in order to get it right you must know your own CV!

It could be perfectly structured and informative, but if you can’t talk confidently about what’s on there you will lose credibility. Try to keep a mental note of the dates and the tasks you carried out in each role.

A CV is the first impression that recruiters will have of your competencies – don’t fall at the first hurdle!

For further information check out our handy infographic.

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