How to Write a CV

CV File Name

Your CV should be named clearly with the word CV and your name. This will help employers recognise the file as a CV and who submitted it.

Good file namesBad file names
CV - Jane Brown.docCV.doc
Jane Brown - Curriculum Vitae.docmy CV.doc

CV Length

Your CV should be kept short and no longer than 2 pages. If your CV is longer than 2 pages, remove the oldest details or details not relevant to the job you are applying for.


Your CV should be laid out clearly with each section separated with headings. This will make it easier to read.


Use simple fonts that are easy to read with a font size of 12 points. A slightly larger font size of 14 points should be used for headings. Bold and underline can be used for headings and highlighting the most important details. DO NOT overuse bold and underline, as your CV will look messy and will be difficult to read.

Good fontsBad fonts
Traditional fonts look better when printed: Bookman, Georgia, Garamond or Times New RomanScript or handwriting fonts such as Brush Script, Freestyle Script or Lucida Handwriting
Modern fonts are easier to read on the screen: Arial, Calibri, Tahoma or VerdanaCalligraphy fonts such as Calligrapher or Lucida Calligraphy
Comic Sans

Contact Details

Your contact details should be included at the top of the CV and should include your address, phone number and email address. Make sure your contact details are current and correct.

Email Address

Your CV should always include email address which should contain your full name. If you don't have a suitable email address, you can get a free one from Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo. Don't forget to check your emails regularly.

Good email addressBad email address

What to Include

Only include details relevant to your job application. If you have too much, remove the least important details.

Highlight important details

Include the most important skills and personal characteristics at the top of your CV so that they can be easily found.

Most Relevant Details First

Entries in Employment and Education/Qualifications sections should be ordered by the most recent first. For each entry, first list relevant details for the job that you are applying for and use words that match job specification. For example, if the job advert specifies "operating the till and accurately handling cash" and you have done this in a previous job, you should write similar job description in your CV.


Always check that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes in your CV. Word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer come with spellchecker and grammar tools. To avoid repeating same words and find suitable alternatives use Thesaurus; do not to overuse it as you can end up with a confusing CV.

Always Proof-Read

When you are finished writing your CV, ask a friend or a family member to read it. They can tell you if your CV is easy to read and if they have spotted spelling or grammar mistakes. If you are at school or college, ask your teacher or career adviser for help.