Your CV is a tool with one purpose: to win an interview. It should present you in the best possible light and convince a prospective employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this specific position or career. You don’t have much time to impress with your CV – research shows that employers scan, rather than read, CVs – so to make sure it stimulates interest, follow these basic tips on how to write a CV:

General advice for writing a perfect CV

  • Avoid coloured paper or type, fancy fonts, photographs or clever delivery approaches
  • Be truthful and don’t be afraid to sell your skills
  • Keep the look simple and make your point quickly download our CV template as a guide  
  • Use the past tense and choose strong action verbs
  • Avoid speaking about yourself in the third person
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms that other people might not understand
  • Tailor your resume for each specific application
  • Include the company profile of the organisations that you have worked for
  • Make your CV results oriented: give proof to back up your capability statements.

Tips for CV sections

Personal Information

  • Include your name, full address, telephone numbers (day/evening/mobile) and email address.


  • List both academic and non-academic qualifications in chronological order, giving grades.
  • Do not include irrelevant information.

Employment History

  • Beginning with your most recent job, include your responsibilities, duration of employment and reasons for leaving.
  • Do not omit any period of employment for whatever reason, as this may prove awkward at interview.

Personal Interests

  • Listing your interests is important, but do not generalise. For example, instead of simply saying ‘football’, you could expand and say that you have played for a local club for the last four years and are now publicity officer for the committee (but only if this is true).


  • Before submitting your CV/Resumé, make sure you check it thoroughly, not just for spelling mistakes, but also to make sure that it is a clear representation of you, that it is relevant and that it will encourage the employer to contact you to find out more.
  • Ask a friend to check it, too. Someone who works in the industry for which you are applying would be particularly beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I put my referees on my CV?

These need not be included on your CV. However, before Robert Walters can place you, we will need to carry out detailed reference checks for your most recent five years of employment history, so it is useful to have these at the ready.

How much personal information should I include?

Generally, you should avoid too much personal information on your resume. Remember the employer is looking for an overview of your skills, think about what is relevant.

Should I put my photo on my resume?

You should try and avoid inserting any photographs or graphics onto your resume.

Should I put my hobbies / interests on my resume?

It is fine to include hobbies and interests on your resume but always consider if they are likely to add or detract from your resume. Remember not everyone enjoys the same pastimes.

Should I include academic or extra curricular achievements on my resume?

Definitely, such achievements as school prefect or captain may show leadership skills and any involvement in extra mural activity will be well received by an employer looking for staff who demonstrate a work/life balance.

Should I put my work email address on my resume?

You should avoid using your work contact details when applying for other positions unless you have clarified this with your current employer. If you are going to set up a hotmail address or something similar, be sure it is an appropriate address and avoid using nicknames as this could give a negative impression to a future employer.

How long should my resume be?

We would recommend that a resume be no longer than 4-5 pages, this is ample space to include all relevant career history and information.

Should I include a cover letter?

Cover letters are only useful if they are specifically tailored to the role. Don’t use a generic cover letter as it looks as though you haven’t put in any effort. If you are going to use a cover letter, use it to clearly outline where your skills and experience match those required in the role and ensure that it is correctly addressed.

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