Successful CV Writing

Your CV is the first thing an employer will ever see of you – so don’t let it be the last! A good CV will make a good impression and is all that stands between you and an interview for your dream job, so make it count. Here are our top tips for writing a winning CV.


  • Use a clear layout – no fussy borders, text boxes, graphics etc.
  • Use a sans seraph typeface such as Verdana, Tahoma or Arial as they tend to be easier to read, and stick to one typeface only.
  • Format with four main headings – Personal, Education, Skills and Professional History in that order so that the main credentials are on the first page.
  • Then add optional details such as Hobbies and Interests, Achievements etc.
  • If you have lists of skills or technical skills, putting them in a table keeps them tidy.


  • Use headings and bullet points to differentiate between roles, dates, responsibilities etc.
  • Profile – keep professional and relate to the role you are applying for.
  • Hobbies and interests – think about how the employer will view you… any weird and wacky hobbies may not impress.
  • Elaborate on your most recent roles – clearly define the role, what you did and how, and list any achievements.
  • Proof read then proof-read again – always spell check and use correct grammar.
  • Don’t write in the third person. This CV is about you, not someone else.
  • Falsehoods, exaggerations or boasting should be avoided at all costs.
  • Be specific – ‘I have three years’ experience in…’ says far more than ‘I have experience of…’
  • Don’t include any negatives about yourself!

Further hints

  • Use the profile section to highlight specific achievements and specialist skills/ experience that may catch the eye of a prospective hiring manager.
  • If YOU were searching for the right kind of candidate in your industry, think about the keywords you would expect to find in their CV… and make sure they’re in yours!
  • If you are applying for your first job or are returning to work after bringing up a family, help the employers to recognise your transferable skills; e.g. President of the outdoor pursuits society implies leadership; treasurer of the parish church council implies financial skills.

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