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Best Curriculum Vitae Writing Tips

Updated on November 2, 2017
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I have worked in administration most of her working career, some of my experience and knowledge can be found here. Health & Safety included.

Your Curriculum Vitae is what will determine whether you will get that all important interview or not. Good preparation is paramount.
Your Curriculum Vitae is what will determine whether you will get that all important interview or not. Good preparation is paramount. | Source

Curriculum Vitae Preparation

Curriculum Vitae preparation is the key to gaining that all important interview, otherwise known as a Resume or CV it is paramount that you include everything positive about yourself to gain that all important next stage in the process of obtaining a job role, the interview.

With jobs being scarce in the UK I would like to offer my advice and guidance to you in the preparation of your Curriculum Vitae or Resume, of course I cannot guarantee you will get the job, my experience to date has shown me that good preparation and thorough information will help you secure an interview, and I would like to do my best to help.

Based on my own experience and after a decision to take a career break and then finally wishing to return to work, using the information that I am going to give here and knowing that the layout and content of the Curriculum Vitae managed to secure me many interviews, hopefully it will assist you in your job search and indeed the interview.


CV's for many years have been widely used by companies to enable them to gain an insight to the candidates applying for the job positions advertised. However that said now with the emphasis being on flexibility and change the CV or Resume has become paramount for employers.

It is not designed to get you the job, it is designed to get the interview, it is a way to 'sell' yourself to a potential employer.

If you are able to demonstrate, stability, experience, creativity and most of all adaptability you will be on your way to achieving a good CV. Look at your achievements to date and how you could adapt to a new job role with them. Telling the truth is the best policy.

Think logically and practically about your past working history, your skills and you will be able to reach a clearer insight into how the job your are applying for will fit in with your knowledge to date.

Writing mistakes made most commonly when preparing a CV

Too long - two pages is enough

Being hard to follow - dis-organised and layout poor

Poorly typed - looking unprofessional

Paragraphs too long - too much waffle

Not enough content - such as dates and job titles

Not showing enough of your achievements to date

Too much irrelevant content - marital status, height, weight etc is not required

Poor grammar - spelling mistakes

Too fancy - keep it simple

Try to remember who you are when writing your CV, you are not the job title you are applying for, remember that you are talented and have a broad range of qualities to offer the new role.

Whether you are a senior manager, engineer, plumber, secretary, shop worker, taxi driver, you certainly have a lot more of your own 'talents' that you actually probably do not realize that you have or are willing to admit.

Before starting CV preparation

Make a list of your skills, abilities and qualities, making sure that they are not just job related you need to list non job related skills as well.

Basic skills could include:

  • Teaching, Coaching or Training
  • Writing Reports
  • Computing
  • Able to work on own initiative
  • Dealing with the general public
  • Managing others
  • Performing mechanical tasks
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Driving long distance
  • Using the telephone
  • Planning
  • Organising
  • Negotiating
  • Target setting
  • Counselling

And many more.

Employer's need an overall picture of you and your personal qualities could include:-

  • Motivation
  • Initiative
  • Energy and drive
  • Versatility
  • Inventiveness
  • Conscientious approach
  • Willingness
  • Patience

Once you have listed all of your skills and qualities decide which of them could be transferable into the role that you are applying for. This is useful for the job's that you apply for that are different to what you may have done in the past and enables you to apply for a wider scope of positions.

Think carefully about what you need to add to your Curriculum Vitae or Resue
Think carefully about what you need to add to your Curriculum Vitae or Resue | Source

Preparing your CV

Your CV should show your own personal style when presenting.

They say that a CV has a five second impact value on the employer's desk, the style, layout and length is extremely important, no more than two x A4 sheets long is paramount.

Consider the company you are applying for. If the company is long standing prepare a conventional CV, if however the company is modern and dynamic show more flair.

Present your information in chronological order, starting with your current situation and then work backwords. You must not leave any gaps. The layout needs to be clear and very easy to read and the content to the point. Use heading to separate all of the various sections of your CV.

Your employment history must be structured, so if you have had many similar jobs try to group them together and pick out the main duties and responsibilities. Try to emphasise what you have learned from a job. Remember, BE POSITIVE FROM START TO FINISH.

If you find you have gaps in employment showing time away from work due to looking after the children or unemployment try to highlight what you did during these times, such as attending training courses or running a play group or doing voluntary work or temporary work.

When writing your CV you need to feel comfortable with it as it's main purpose after all is to 'sell' yourself to employers.

CV Content

Content in CV preparation.

The following areas should definitely be included in your CV.

Personal Details - Name, address, telephone number, e-mail address

Education - List the names of schools, colleges and the dates you attended them

Qualifications - List all qualifications - include job related training courses and qualifications gained through day release or evening classes

Work experience or career - List the jobs in chronological order - dates should be mentioned and no unexplained gaps, the job title, company name and a brief outline of the duties that you undertook. If you have had a long working life restrict the details to the last 10 years.

Believing in yourself whilst you write your CV will show in your writing.
Believing in yourself whilst you write your CV will show in your writing. | Source

An example layout


10 Main Street




Tel: 0023 012 325


Date of Birth 29th August 1965

KEY SKILLS Customer care/service Counselling

Management of four staff Interview skills

Sales - telephone and field Recruitment and Training

Administration Compiling reports/proposals

Fluent English Computer literacy/typing

Negotiating Budgets



1993 - present Name and Brief description of job role

1989 - 1993 Name and Brief description of job role

1988 - 1989 Name and Brief description of job role

Continue dates right back to when you left school, university or college

Qualifications Qualification and level obtained

Qualification and level obtained

List all qualifications and grades obtained

Stay Positive

Remember stay positive and good luck

It is crucial when you are preparing your CV to ensure that you stay positive at all times as the way you are feeling emotionally is reflected in your writing.

Hopefully some of the tips that I have provided here will help you in securing an interview and I personally would like to wish you the best of luck.

© 2012 Trudy Cooper


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    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Kisby 

      7 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Great info on CV writing. People need a bit of advice when it comes to job hunting. Your CV is so important as it says a lot about you even before the employer has met you in most cases.

      Voting up.


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