The Do's and Do not's of CV writing


The Do's and Do not's of CV writing

Posted on 01 March 2022

As recruitment consultants, we see hundreds of CVs every week – some good and some not so good. A person’s CV is their marketing tool to finding the best job possible and should be as individual as they are. However, simple formatting, structure and layout rules should be followed to make your CV as easily readable as possible. Your CV is potentially the first thing that will be read when looking into your application so you can’t afford to get it wrong.

We have laid out top “Do’s and Don’ts” for CV writing to help you make the best first impression possible.

The Important Do’s

Clear Presentation:

Your CV needs to be clear and easy for people to read through. A poorly structured and presented CV may give the reader the opportunity to disregard your application before reading it through. Remember, a little whitespace is good, it is visually pleasing but don’t overdo it. Ensure to select a simple format and ensure it is consistent throughout the CV. Use a font that suits your style, however, avoid using an overly fancy font to not distract the reader. Perfect your grammar and punctuation and avoid using capital letters as it can appear to shout out to the reader. Why not get your friends and family to check it through once you have finished?

Tailor your CV:

Ensure your CV has a consistent theme throughout that is relevant to the roles you are applying for. Ensure the experience you detail the most is the most relevant to the roles you are applying for. It’s always a good idea to overindulge on the information for the relevant work experiences and lessen the irrelevant roles.

Put the important information first:

The reader will generally want to know the basic information first when reading your CV. Aim to include your job title, address/location, qualification and education in the beginning of your CV. Following this, detail your employment history in reverse chronological order.

Positive Tone: Ensure your CV sets the right tone that is both professional and positive. Using powerful and uplifting words throughout can help balance the tone such as “motivated”, “achieved”, “managed”.

The important Don'ts.

Avoid Negative information:

Avoid adding in any past confrontations or negative exits from past employers. Avoid mentioning why you previously left employment and failed exams results. Adding these into your CV may give the reader the chance to disregard you early on.

Don’t ramble:

Keeping your CV to two pages is not something we advise. Ensure all the relevant information is down including your profile/summary, education and achievements, skills, employment history, hobbies and interests. Ensure to make everything to the point and concise. Rambling with information that is irrelevant or duplicated throughout sets the wrong tone.

Don’t mention money:

Avoid stating your salary expectations on the CV as this should be used in negotiations at offer/interview stage.

Avoid too much personal information:

Only send in a photograph if requested and avoid including other information such as age, gender, race or disability as to help prevent discrimination.

Don’t be the only one to proofread:

Ensuring your CV is free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors is very important. We can’t stress this enough. For example, if you write great attention to detail or strong written communication but have spelt something wrong in the CV, your CV may well end up being disregarded on that alone.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help:

Here at Aldwych Consulting we are happy to advise and assist in CV improvement or writing. We will always help you get the best out of your skills and experience and present it in the best light!

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