CV Tips

A CV (or resume) is a document which summarises your skills, experiences and achievements. Curriculum Vitae is a Latin phrase which means ‘the course of my life’ and resume is French for summary. 


Before writing your CV, look at the skills and knowledge requirements for the role you wish to apply for. This provides you with some information to base your CV on. Employers will be looking for relevant information, so make sure and research!

Structure your CV

It’s important that your CV has a clear layout and structure. Using software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs will ensure the document is formatted, organised and professional.

Personal Details

Add your personal details at the very top of your CV so employers know how to contact you. This can include:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Location
  • It is recommended not to include your Date of Birth, photos, or that unprofessional email address that you created at school! 

Personal Profile

Your personal statement should appear next. This is a short introductory paragraph which summarises your abilities, experience and benefits to the employer. This will change depending on the company and the role you’re applying for. Use information from the job description/ company website to help you to match the tone and style of what the employer is looking for. Make this eye catching to grab their attention – this is the first area they will look at. 

Core Skills

Next you may wish to add your core skills. This provides a snapshot of what you can offer to the employer. Ensure these are listed in bullet-pointed columns so they are clear. 

Work Experience/ Employment History

Include your employment history in reverse order, listing your most recent experiences first. Remember to add dates, the job title and company name. Write a brief statement providing an overview of the role. Then explain your key responsibilities and any achievements in a bullet-pointed list.

  • Tip: You can add any voluntary roles, school work experience or achievements.
  • Tip: Add more detail in the most recent experiences, and less detail in previous experiences.

Education, Qualifications & Training

List any qualifications, grades/ levels, and the year they were achieved. 

Additional Information 

This is an optional area which can be used to document anything you haven’t already mentioned. You may wish to include any hobbies and interests if you feel they will positively enhance your CV and the role you are applying for. You could also include a professional membership status, any foreign languages you speak etc.   

References Available on Request

This is the final heading to add. This shows you are willing to provide any references if the employer asks for them.  

  • Tip: Ensure you have any up-to-date referee contact details in case you are asked for them.

Format your CV

Here are some tips to create a professional looking CV:

  • Ensure the font is easily readable. Clear fonts can include Calibri or Arial at around size 11.
  • Try to keep colour schemes neutral. Black and/or blue text is best.
  • Use bold headings to divide the different sections of your CV. 
  • Check for spelling mistakes.
  • Keep to 2 pages of A4 – keep it concise and do not waffle! 
  • Do not use hard to read fonts.
  • Refrain from using lots of different colours as this may make your CV difficult to read.
  • Try not to write more than 2 pages – employers want to find the information they need quickly.