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Do’s and Don’ts When Writing a CV

Remember that the person reading your CV will be looking at lots of other CVs too. You need to make your CV easy to read so they can quickly get a good sense that you are a strong candidate for the job. Send a CV that is relevant to the potential employer – don’t be tempted to have just one standard CV.

Your CV is the company’s first introduction to who you are – it will make the difference between getting an interview or not.

Here are a few essentials on the Do’s and Don’ts for writing your CV.

DO’s for CV Writing

  • Keep to just two pages
  • Make sure the layout is clear uncluttered and easy to follow
  • Tailor the CV to the job you are applying for
  • Focus on your skills and experience that meet the job specification
  • Put important information up-front – the best order is
    • Personal details
    • Personal statement
    • Education
    • Work history
    • Skills
    • Achievements
  • Describe your achievements with strong words – managed, succeeded, co-ordinated
  • List any professional qualifications
  • Include a brief outline of work history with key achievements for each role
  • Briefly explain all career breaks

DON’Ts for CV Writing

  • Lie or embellish the truth – HR managers and recruiters are adept at checking and they will catch you out
  • Handwrite your CV
  • Reference negative information (failed exams, points on your driving licence, issues with previous managers) – don’t give the hiring manager a reason not to invite you for interview
  • Use jargon or technical terms
  • Use email addresses that look unprofessional e.g BestKissaEva@email.com
  • Use clichés – ‘great team player’, ‘work well under pressure’
  • Talk about salary or benefits. These conversations are best left until after the interview
  • Use a small font to squeeze in more information – your CV should be easy to read
  • Add details of EVERY job you’ve had since you were at school – stick to the relevant employment history
  • Use lots of colours, fonts, clipart, tables or styles in an attempt to stand out. Just follow a clear, easy to read structure
  • Forget a covering letter (if required) – use this to introduce your CV and support your reasons for applying for the job.
  • Include a photo – unless it’s specifically mentioned in the job advert.

Hopefully your CV will get you an interview, then read our tips on How to Prepare for An Interview