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Advice on how to write a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Updated on November 15, 2011
Advice on how to write a Curriculum Vitae (CV). This picture displays a british way of writing up a CV. Picture: WIkimedia Commons
Advice on how to write a Curriculum Vitae (CV). This picture displays a british way of writing up a CV. Picture: WIkimedia Commons

Advice on how to write a CV (Curriculum Vitae)

What is a CV?

  • · An employer’s first impression of you.
  • · A first chance to display a professional attitude.
  • · A way to present past achievements and future career goals.

Always present a CV with a cover letter. Start early leaving enough time to re-read and edit several times. Remember the attitude you display is as important if not more important that the content.


  • · Personal details- address, date of birth, nationality, telephone/mobile number and email address.
  • · Educational history- school, university or college.
  • · Qualifications- GCSE and A-level grades (or equivalent). Additional degrees and certificates. Don’t include poor grades.
  • · Work experience- Job titles, skills learned and used and responsibilities undertaken.
  • · Courses/CPD – titles and dates. Website in references.
  • · Hobbies, Sports and achievements.
  • · References.
  • · A photo if appropriate.

CV Advice

A CV should be:

  • · Concise – “less is often more.”
  • · Clean, clear and to the point.
  • · Free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  • · Factual, don’t include opinion or self-reflection.
  • · Easy to read – small, spaced paragraphs with clear headings.
  • · Uniform format throughout (font 11/12, legible).
  • · Flowing.
  • · In reverse chronological order
  • · Updated regularly!

Cover letter advice


  • · Grab the recruiter’s attention.
  • · Display specific, relevant attributes and skills.
  • · Show professional personality and enthusiasm.
  • · Give them reasons why they should hire you.
  • · Express yourself with confidence.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the firm to which you are applying.
  • Tailor the letter to the interests of the firm. What could you bring to the firm? This should be done within limits. It is important to give the impression that you would “fit in” to that specific firm or fulfil a need. However this should not compromise your core values however.


  • · Copy someone else’s CV. It will reflect the other person, not you.
  • · Drag out sentences.
  • · Lie or exaggerate.
  • · Include personal reflections or chatty language.
  • · Include irrelevant material.
  • · Send without proof reading and editing several times.


  • · Drag sentences out.
  • · Make spelling or grammatical errors e.g. “I done.”
  • · Use abbreviations or too many “I’s”
  • · Use clichés.
  • · Have a negative tone.
  • · Grovel/beg

· Address the letter to the practice manager.

  • 2-3 paragraphs
  • Own realistic goals for the future. Show Ambition!
  • Show what your skills and qualities can bring to the firm.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the company. E.g. mission statements, their core values and target market/main patient base.
  • Closing sentence - why they should hire you. Be positive.


Corfield, R., 1999. Prepare your own CV. 2nd Ed. Kogan Page Limited, London.

Career Services Virginia Tech. 2010. Cover Letters: types and examples. Available online at: <>

CV template. 2010. How to write a CV. Available online at: <>

Dicks, R., 2004. How to construct a winning CV. Available online at: <>

UKstudentlife. 2009. Writing a British style CV. Available online at: <http://>

Wikijob. 2010. Cover Letter. Available online at: <>


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      paul sengo 4 years ago

      Hope that Ur materials is good er for our modern world