Skip to main content

Annie Todd, one of Adviza’s National Careers Service advisers, has helped hundreds of adult clients write their CVs.  She shares her top tips for a CV that will make the shortlist rather than the shredder!


Tip 1:  Make it a door-opener

Your CV is the most important door to an interview.  It needs to capture your personality, showcase your skills, abilities and experience and detail the type of work which you have previously done as well as highlight your education, training and achievements.

Tip 2: Convince them you’re made for the job

Use your profile statement at the top of your CV to highlight the most relevant information for that job.  It’s your way to introduce yourself and make an impression.  Describe yourself in 2-3 sentences with a brief summary of your relevant experience and a description of the type of work you would now like to do.

Tip 3:  Show you have the right experience

Read the job description/person specification to find out what skills they are looking for.  Then consider your career history and relevant past achievements and tailor your key skills and achievements to the job.

Tip 4: Be smart, snappy and positive

The top half of your first page is the most important part of your CV.  If you want the employer to read beyond this, make sure it looks professional: well spaced and laid out, with absolutely no typos or spelling mistakes.  Use bullet points, short snappy sentences and always start with a power/positive word.

Tip 5: Get it checked

Always get someone else to check your CV for you: it’s all too easy to miss one tiny error when you have been working so closely on it. 

CV dos and don’ts


  • Write precise, plain English
  • Make it punchy and interesting
  • Use clear, simple fonts such as Arial or Calibri
  • Make it look professional
  • Be ultra careful with your spelling and grammar
  • Make it compact – 2 sides of A4 maximum
  • Ensure it is accurate and factual


  • Put ‘Curriculum Vitae’ or ‘CV’ on your CV
  • Use jargon, acronyms or abbreviations that the reader might not understand
  • Include a photo (unless you are an actor or a model)
  • Include date of birth, marital status, number of children
  • Have unexplained gaps in your employment history
  • Include anything you can’t justify at interview

Your CV should include: 

  • Contact details – name, address, telephone number and email address*
  • Personal profile – snapshot of you as a person
  • Skills section – relevant skills for the role
  • Employment history – years, employer, job title, responsibilities
  • Education – years, place of study, course title, qualification gained
  • Hobbies and interests
  • References available on request

*Security Tip: If you are posting your CV on the web you can delete your full address and just put the area e.g. Bracknell, Berkshire

"You must showcase your work, achievements and performance in the best possible manner." Abhishek Ratna, ‘No Parking. No Halt. Success Non Stop!'

You'll find more CV writing tips on the National Careers Service website.  You can also get help from our local advisers

Next time………Have you got the right covering letter or are you sending an essay?


There are no comments for this post. Be the first to comment.

Write A Comment for the 5 top tips for a winning CV post

To write a comment, please login...

These are required fields

Don't have an account? Sign Up

Related blog posts

Blog Categories


Sign up to our newsletter today to receive latest news updates and information.

We've launched
Our new careers site

ae've launched our new careers site

If you’re an individual that needs help on your careers journey.

Visit our new site

If you’re a school or college supporting your students, please continue