Do's & Don'ts for Writing & Developing Your CV

Posted: Thursday, 30 October 2014 by

Struggling with your CV? Here's a few helpful do's & don'ts to help get you that all important interview.


Do's & Don't for Writing & Developing Your CV.

A Curriculum Vitae is by far the most important tool a job seeker can have! Without one you simply can't get an interview for that job you so desperately want. Furthermore, submitting a CV still doesn't guarantee you will get an interview for the job. 

Statistics state that on average 23 people apply for every single job vacancy advertised in the UK & only 5 get shortlisted for an interview. We asked our regular recruiters what was the most common reason for rejecting an application based on a CV. They said that first impressions were crucial & that CV applications could be rejected within as little as 10 to 30  seconds. Many simple & basic factors contribute for rejection regardless of the applicants stated experience or qualifications.

Thanks to employers, recruiters & clients that use our website. We have been able to put together a list of Do's & Don'ts to help you create or change your CV & give you every chance of been shortlisted for an interview, bringing you a step closer to landing the job in a world that is becoming increasingly more competitive!


The Dos

  • Be honest. Lying doesn't work on a CV - Remember an employer will know that you are at the interview.
  • Use a professional font - 'Jokerman' or 'Impact' might be your favourite font but we recommend a default font type which is usually 'Arial'. 
  • Study the job description & research into the company - Then make changes to your CV to suit the role/company.
  • Use bulletin points to highlight key facts & strengths. This will help the employer when they skim through your application on the first read.
  • Develop many different CV styles & use to suit the role & company.
  • Include the following personal details: Name, address, telephone number & email address (professional email address).
  • Keep your personal statement simple & specific.
  • List your employment history starting with the most recent first. Only include company name, address, job title & dates of employment.
  • Mirror key words used in the employer's description when describing your strengths & attributes.
  • Make sure your CV is clear, neat & tidy. Black writing on white background/paper with left-justified text as standard.
  • Check your spelling and grammar using a spell check set to your countries settings. Then check your CV at least three times for mistakes etc. 
  • Have someone else read it over. They'll be able to spot mistakes or point out improvements.
  • Use positive language & view all experiences in a positive manner even the bad experiences.
  • Make use of the internet for CV templates & free CV reviews (We will list a few at the bottom for you).
  • Put your name & email on every page, usually central at the bottom. This helps to identify if your CV becomes separated. 


The Don'ts

  • Don't write curriculum vitae on your curriculum vitae.
  • Don't hand-write your CV or use a typewriter.
  • Don't include information that highlights you negatively - Failed exams, failed businesses, driving convictions & anything else along those lines. It's not lying as the employer as not requested that information.
  • Don't include your salary expectations.
  • Don't include a list of references. Just state that references are available upon request.
  • Don't include a long list of hobbies, schools & jobs since you left school. Just include the most recent & relevant to the application.
  • Repetition & adding content to fill your CV. Short, accurate, truthful sentences get your point across more clearly & efficient.
  • Cliche's. Avoid the same old boring cliche's because you think your employer must know you can "work in a team & as an individual". Instead give examples to back up your story.
  • Never Use graphs, tables or images.
  • Don't include a photo of yourself.
  • Don't add your social network addresses as this looks unprofessional.
  • Don't include your age, marital status, sex or current health status. Too much information can be seen as content fillers & is irrelevant to the application.
  • Don't underline any text on your document.
  • Don't have your CV more than two pages long.


What Next?

Here are few links to external website's that offer services that will help you create your CV.


  • The CV Centre offer a FREE CV Review - Click here for details.
  • CV Library offer advice, FREE CV & Cover Letter Templates - Click here for details.
  • National Careers Service offer a FREE step by step CV Builder - Click here for details. 
  • The Guardian offer FREE CV templates for various stages in your career - Click here for details.
  • Total Jobs have a good selection of FREE templates with advice - Click here for details.


We hope after you have read this article that you feel a little more at ease! There is so much information & support available to help you write a fantastic CV & claim that all important interview.

Good Luck!



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