Herts Chamber of Commerce

Writing a Successful CV

A CV is the personal marketing document that secures you an interview. It is the key tool that is the first step to you achieving your goal of finding the next role in your career. To ensure you maximise this window of opportunity, R4HR have pulled together some key “Do’s” and “Don’ts” on writing your CV.

“Do” Provide the Following:

  • Easy to read layout with clear headings and plenty of white space
  • Use plain white paper and black ink
  • Make headings bold and use spaces to break up the page
  • Basic/contact information (name, address, email address, contact phone number).
  • Profile section detailing your experience and areas of proficiency.
  • Reverse chronological employment history emphasising recent achievements.
  • Education
  • Confine to two pages where possible, three if providing detailed training or an IT skills profile
  • Sentences must be well-articulated, concise, straight-forward and to the point.
  • Be factual and honest
  • Avoid Jargon
  • Use Bullet points wherever possible
  • Cut down on personal information that is not relevant to your career
  • Check spelling and grammar to ensure no errors

“Don’t” Provide the Following:

  • Do not write long wordy sentences
  • Do not have any chronological gaps including years spent abroad, travelling, sabbaticals etc.
  • Do not use personal pronouns such as “me” or “I
  • Do not update a cv with your latest role without changing other dates on the cv
  • Do not provide details where dates and specifics cannot be verified
  • Do not provide more personal information relating to wider family than yourself.

Ensure your CV captures:

  • Strong career motivations - good rationale for choosing a career makes a stronger candidate.
  • Realistic career objectives - employers are ‘turned off’ by over-ambitious people.
  • Proven business track record - a good track record indicates likely success in a new job role.
  • Relevant skills and personal qualities - core elements contained within the job description.
  • Specialisation - often candidates have highly desirable skills that employers proactively look for.
  • Achievements - identifying what candidates have excelled at (notable strengths and successes).
  • Education - employers look for structured learning ability and the potential to apply knowledge.
  • Training - if a previous company has invested in an individual through training it is a good sign.
  • Evidence of progression - showing career development, management and leadership potential.
  • Wider evidence of suitability - work experience (credible examples) reinforces ‘employability’.

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