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*Sigh* How to write a CV/Resume

Published: 12/02/12
We see some shocking CV's/Resumes attached to the applications sent to the recruiters and employers that post jobs on this website. And I mean seriously shocking.

So it is with a heavy heart that we have posted this article. I say "heavy heart" as we have tried for many years to avoid posting this type of article as its so typical of what can be found on many job sites. But clearly there is a need. Poor CV's/Resumes do the candiate no favours and nor do they do us any favours. We want good quality candiates applying for the roles on our sites, and that starts with a well written and well structured CV/Resume.

So, if you are a new or recent graduate, this is what to include:

Personal details

  • Ensure your contact details are up to date.
  • Always include a mobile telephone number and a professional-sounding email address. 


  • List your GCSE grades (or equivalent) generally.
  • Specify your A-Level subjects (or equivalent) and grades (any gaps will look like you are trying to hide something).
  • List your university, degree and final grade, with the starting and finishing date clearly shown.
  • If you have a good reason for a poor performance in any of the above, it may be best to add this briefly, but do not go into too much detail here.

Relevant Experience

  • Make sure your most relevant experience stands out at the top.
  • Focus on experience (internships, work shadowing) that has exposed you to the area you are applying for. Be specific, giving examples of work you did and skills you developed e.g. data modeling.
  • Briefly list any other jobs you have had, but do not go into details unless they are relevant.

Positions of Responsibility

Start with the most recent (university societies etc) and only mention roles from school if they were substantial.

Hobbies and Interests

You need to show employers that you are an interesting person so you should add something here. Keep it brief and remember that particularly unusual interests (e.g. UFOs) can work against you.

Classic Mistakes

Poor spelling and grammar

  • Mistakes will instantly undermine your CV.
  • Don't rely on your computer's spellchecker and get a friend to check over for errors that you may have missed.

Untailored CVs

  • Every role you apply for will be different. Your CV and covering letter should reflect this.
  • Show that you understand the firm you are applying to and the role they are recruiting for by adapting your application.

Avoid using clich├ęs like "I work well in a team?. If you are trying to make that clear, illustrate it with examples on your CV.

Exceeding two pages

  • Two pages should be plenty to demonstrate your potential to an employer.
  • Only include information that is necessary and will help you to get the job.

Gaps in your CV

  • Long time periods that go unaccounted for will arouse suspicion and lead a potential employer to think the worst.
  • Always explain gaps in your CV, even if you weren?t working during that period.

Incorrect personal details

Ensure that a current phone number and email address and postal address appear on your CV.

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