A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a personal document used to sell yourself to prospective employers. It should tell them about you, your skills and abilities as well as achievements. A CV is often required when applying for a job but some employers will need you to complete an application form. Employers may also require a covering letter. Every CV is different, although follow a similar structure, as you want to showcase how you fit the job you are applying for.

The dos and don’ts of writing a CV:


Choose your template

Sections to include on a CV

  • Name and contact details
  • Personal profile
  • Experience and employment history (in reverse chronological order)
  • Education and qualifications
  • Key skills
  • Hobbies and interests

Match your CV to the job

  • Make sure your CV is fit for the job you are applying for. Pick out the required skills listed in the job description/specification and use examples.

Length and presentation

  • A CV should be no longer than two sides of A4 using a font size no smaller than 11.

Grammar and spelling

  • This is very important. Read your CV a few times to make sure there are no mistakes. Also ask if someone else can read it too in case you have missed anything. Don’t use ‘text speech’ including emoji icons.

Personal statement

  • This is an opportunity for you to personalise your CV. You should briefly summarise your achievements and how the job you are applying for fits your plan for the future.

Give examples

  • Don’t just use buzzwords such as “teamwork” or “communication skills” without demonstrating how you possess these skills.

Online presence

  • One of the first things an employer will do after reading your CV is Google you. Make sure your social media profiles are private and if you have LinkedIn, ensure that this is up to date.

The digital age

  • It is important that your CV works online as well as on paper. Save it as a pdf so it is easier for employers to access from any device.


Title of CV

  • You do not have the title as CV, this is using vital space. Have the title as your name instead.

Adding a photo

  • This is not necessary. You can add a LinkedIn profile to your CV if your really want them to see you.

Unprofessional fonts or colours

  • Your CV needs to be clear and easy to read, choose your font and colour wisely.

Missing information and other gaps

  • You need dates for all roles and if there are any gaps in employment, education or training, explain them.

Age and date of birth

  • The only dates that should be on your CV are from employment and your qualifications. Your age doesn’t affect your ability to do the job.


  • You don’t need to include name/details of references. Adding “references available on request” is sufficient.