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Top five tips for CV writing

Your CV is often the first impression you give your potential employer so it’s important to make sure it reflects your capabilities in the right way. This isn’t always only based on the experience included in your CV, but often how you write and format it is just as important.

Several specialist recruitment consultants shared their pet hates when it comes to professionals’ CVs and advice you can use to make sure your CV stands out.


Gender discrimination is a significant issue amongst businesses and many are making sure to promote diversity across all their teams. While this is important, companies still want to make sure the right person gets the role. You should make sure your CV has no indication of what your gender is so this isn’t taken into consideration. You want your employer to hire you based on your experience and capabilities and not based on your gender.

Your picture

Pictures on CVs should not be included. Like specifying your gender, you want to be noticed for your experience rather than how you look.

As well, depending on what system your recruiter is using to open and view your CV, a picture can be problematic to formatting and make your CV look jumbled to anyone opening the attachment.

Unusual formatting and language

Keep the layout of your CV simple and easy to read. Avoid using any unnecessary formatting that can distract the reader and reduce its readability.

Sticking to a clear font and using headings and bullet points will make your CV look professional, clear and concise and therefore easy for your future employer to focus on your previous experience. 

Spelling mistakes

Always proofread your writing. Your CV is the first impression you give to your prospective employer and spelling mistakes do not give a good first impression.

As well as spelling mistakes, make sure you don’t have any grammatical errors. This will look unprofessional and potentially put an employer off interviewing you.


Your date of birth should never be included. This gives the recruitment consultant, and your potential employer, a rough idea of your age – information they don’t need when reviewing applicants. If you have the correct experience, your age shouldn’t matter.

However, education dates, graduation dates and dates you were at your previous jobs should be included.

Ultimately, your CV needs to predominately focus on your previous experience and you should avoid including anything that may distract the reader from this.

Instead, include facts and figures, clear goals you reached or surpassed and any additional projects you took on above your basic duties. These will stick out and set you apart from other professionals applying.

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