10 CV Writing Tips

A CV is a professional document, intended to convey your personal details and portray you in the best possible light. Ideally, you’ll be aiming for a two page CV and it should outline your education, professional career and your achievements.  So, where to start? Here are 10 CV writing tips to help:

1. Keep it simple 
We’ve all grown accustomed to ‘information overload’ in the last few years but in the case of your CV, it is important to focus on relevant work and business experience and keep away from non-essential information.

2. Steer clear of meaningless introductions
For example “A dynamic, enthusiastic individual, able to work on own initiative etc.” We’re all probably guilty of this sort of spiel but to a recruiter, it looks vague, clichéd and little uninspired. Use your opening sentence to make your CV stand out from the countless others the recruiter will see that day.

3. Use a positive tone 
Keep it formal and positive, demonstrate the things you did do rather than the things didn’t and to make your CV sound more dynamic, using active language instead of passive.

4. Avoid too much information
Keep details of earlier jobs in your career; don’t include reasons for leaving or your salary (this can be included in your covering letter or at interview stage.)

5. Take out incomplete or misleading information
Don’t include details of qualifications that are now out of date and irrelevant, however, if you refer to a qualification remember to include the subject and result. There is also no need to include, with your CV, copies of references or certificates – though these are useful to take to interview.

6. Remove references
State that they are available upon request, that way you can brief your referees carefully about who they may be talking to, and what the potential job is all about.

7. List achievements, not duties  
You don’t want your CV to read like a job description. Describing exactly what you did along with what the positive outcome was.

8. Keep it tidy 

Your CV is a professional document, make sure it looks it. Keep it simple and clear, ensuring there is enough white spacing around each paragraph to ensure it doesn’t look too busy and difficult to read.

9. Remember to update

You should update your CV as and when something significant happens in your career. Sending an old CV forward for a role will be missing important and current details and will look unprofessional. Update your CV as you go!

10. Check and check AGAIN
That may seem a bit obvious, but check and check again for any spelling errors, typos or grammatical gaffes. Your CV is a professional document so make sure it’s up to professional standard.

Overall, keep it simple and keep it professional!