How to Write a CV: Tips, Dos and Don’ts, and Format

In today’s job market, it’s more important than ever to know how to write a CV that helps you stand out from the competition. A CV is a document that outlines your education and professional experience. It’s often the first thing employers look at when considering candidates for a job opening. In this blog post, we will give tips on how to write an impressive CV. We’ll discuss the dos and don’ts of CV writing and some simple formatting tips. Let’s get started!

What does CV stand for?

CV stands for curriculum vitae, which is a document that provides an overview of your education, professional experiences, and skills. There is no key distinction between a CV and a resume in the UK. Both terms are similar, although the word resume isn’t used in the UK. 

What is the purpose of a CV?

The purpose of a CV is to provide potential employers with an overview of your skills, experience, and education to determine if you’re the right person for the job. Therefore, it should be concise, easy to read, and focus on your recent experiences and accomplishments. 

What should a CV include?

Before you start writing your CV, you should check if the employer requires any specific information. If not, these are the standard details you can include in your CV. 

Contact details

Include your full name, phone number, email address, and links to any professional social media profiles or websites. 

Personal statement

A personal statement is a short paragraph that summarises your skills, experience, and career goals. It should be no longer than three to five sentences. 

Education

The next item on a simple CV format is your educational qualifications, starting with the most recent one. Include the name and location of the institution and the dates you attended. 

Work history

Start with your most recent position and work backwards. Include the name and location of the employer, your job title, and dates of employment. You can also include your role and the skills you gained in each position. 

Skills

Include any relevant skills you have, such as computer skills or language skills. You can also include soft skills, such as teamwork or communication. 

Hobbies and Interests

This is not a must in every curriculum vitae format, but you can include any interests or hobbies that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job in the travel industry, you could include interests such as travelling and exploring new cultures. 

References

If the employer asks for references, include the name, job title, and contact details of two or three people who can speak to your skills and experience. 

The Standard CV Format

Once you’ve written your CV, it’s time to format it. Sometimes, all it takes to stand out from the crowd is the minor details. Here are a few tips on how to format your CV: 

  • Use clear and legible fonts.

When choosing a font, be sure to choose one that is easy to read. Some good fonts for CVs are Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri. Depending on the font, the font size should also be 11 to 12.

  • Make sure there is plenty of white space.

How should a CV look? It should be easy on the eyes, so leave plenty of white space to make it easier for employers to scan your CV. 

  • Use headings and subheadings.

To help organise your CV, be sure to use headings and subheadings that are four to six sizes larger than the rest of the text. This will make it easier for employers to find the information they’re looking for. 

  • Use bullet points.

One of the best tips on how to write a good CV is to use bullet points. They are a great way to list experiences and accomplishments. In addition, they make your CV easier to read and help employers find the information they’re looking for. 

  • Use 1-inch page margins on all four sides.

This will give your CV a professional look and make it easy for employers to print out your CV if they need to. 

How to Write a CV

How to Write a CV in 2022

Now that you know what to include in your CV, it’s time to start writing! 

  • If possible, use active verbs.

For example, pointing out that you ‘managed a team of five people’ or ‘created a new system for tracking inventory’ will show employers that you’re not afraid of taking the initiative. 

  • Use simple and clear language.

Your CV should be easy to read, so avoid using complicated words and sentence structures. When writing a CV in the UK, using these won’t impress employers—they’ll only make your CV more difficult to understand. 

  • Write experiences and accomplishments in reverse-chronological order.

Employers are most interested in your recent work, so it’s important to start with your most recent experiences and work backwards from there. 

  • Keep it short.

The standard CV should be no longer than two pages. This is enough space to include all the important information about you without overwhelming employers. 

  • Proofread your CV. 

As much as you know how to write a CV in the UK, you should also master proofreading it. A professional CV should not have any spelling or grammar mistakes. So, before you submit your CV, be sure to proofread it carefully. Read it out loud or have a friend take a look to spot any mistakes. 

  • Use a professional email address. 

When creating your email address, avoid using unprofessional words or phrases. For example, ‘ilovepizza@gmail.com’ is not an appropriate email address for a job application. 

  • Tailor your CV.

One thing to keep in mind when learning how to write a CV for a job application is to tailor your CV to the position you’re applying for. This means including only experiences and skills relevant to the job. For example, if you want to work as a web developer, your experience as a cashier is superfluous. Think about what to write in a CV before you start writing it.

  • Use keywords in your CV.

Many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out unqualified candidates. These systems scan CVs for specific keywords, so it’s important to include relevant keywords in your CV. For example, if you’re applying to be a web developer in the UK, you can include relevant keywords like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

  • Save your CV as a PDF.

When saving your CV, be sure to save it as a PDF. This will ensure that the formatting of your CV stays the same, no matter what device an employer is using to view it. 

What are the dos and don’ts of CV writing?

After giving you some tips on how to write a noteworthy CV, we’re now going to summarise the dos and don’ts to make them easy to digest. 

How to Write a CV — Dos: 

– Keep it clear and concise. 

– Write experiences in reverse-chronological order.

– Use bullet points. 

– Include relevant information and qualifications.

– Double-check for spelling and grammar mistakes and have someone else check it.

How to Write a CV — Don’ts: 

– Include unnecessary information, such as age, gender, and religion. 

– Include a profile picture unless required.

– Use cliches. 

– Lie on your CV. 

– Use tables and graphics. 

– Use unprofessional email addresses. 

How to Write a CV for a Job with No Experience

Having no work experience might seem like a hindrance to writing a professional-looking CV, but that won’t be the case if you know how to work your way around it. Here are some of our tips on writing a CV for people with no work experience:

  • Start with a personal statement. 

Include information about your skills and qualities that make you suitable for the job in your personal statement. For example, ‘I am an organised and motivated person with excellent communication skills.’

  • Highlight your education. 

Since you lack work experience, shed light on your education. Be sure to list any relevant qualifications, such as A-levels or GCSEs. If you have a degree, include information about your grades and university. 

  • Don’t undermine your skills. 

If you don’t know how to write a CV with no job experience, mention your skills. This can be almost any extracurricular activity that has helped you grow professionally. Soft skills count, too. That way, employers will know that you’re right for the job even though you lack experience.

  • Mention any internships. 

If you’ve done any internships, make sure to include them in your CV. This will show employers that you have some work experience. Also, don’t forget to mention any relevant skills you gained during the course of your internship.

  • State your hobbies or interests.

If you have any hobbies or interests relevant to the job you’re applying for, feel free to include them in your CV. 

How to Write a Personal Statement for a CV

A personal statement is a paragraph at the beginning of your CV that introduces you to the reader. It should include your most relevant skills and experiences and your career goals. 

According to job interview statistics, a good CV can increase your chances of getting an interview by 316%. That is why your personal statement should catch the recruiter’s attention. 

One of the most important CV writing tips for personal statements is to keep it short and sweet. Start by introducing yourself, then mention your most relevant skills and experiences. 

Next, mention your career goals and what you hope to achieve in your role. 

Finally, conclude by saying how you would be an asset to the company and what you can bring to the table.

How to Write a CV

Conclusion

Now that you know how to write a CV, make sure to follow these tips and format. By doing so, you’ll create a CV that will stand out and help you land the job you’re applying for—perhaps even your dream job. Good luck!