How to write a CV – Top tips to stand out to a future employer

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According to Marketing Director of Debut Careers, Kim Conner Streich, around 75 percent of CVs don’t even make it to the employer because they don’t pass the Applicant Tracking System. This software sorts through your CV and decides which CVs are good enough to be seen by the recruiter. You’ll need to include certain information and appropriate keywords to pass the test. reveals how to write a CV.

How to write a CV

Personal details

One of the most important parts of writing a CV is remembering to include your personal information.

How will the employer know who to hire if they don’t know who the CV belongs to?

Always write your name, email, phone number, and home address at the top of your CV.

You don’t need to write CV or Curriculum Vitae at the top, so take this out to make room for your personal details.

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Personal statement

A personal statement lets the employer know who you are and what makes you a great employee.

Keep this short and sweet – this should only take up one paragraph.

Tell the employer what you offer and what you’re looking for.

This is normally the first part the employer reads, so make it good!

Work experience

Starting with your current or most recent job, list all of the jobs you have had.

However, exclude anything that isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying for.

If you’re applying for a job as a writer, the employer probably doesn’t care about your job in New Look when you were 16.

Include your job title, the company name, and the dates you worked there.

Then, write a little bit about your key responsibilities in this role.

Show how these jobs have prepared you for the specific job you are applying for.

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It’s time to list your qualifications along with dates and grades.

If you have just left University with very little work experience, you might want to include details of your A-Levels and GCSEs.

However, if your work experience is more relevant to the role than your school grades you should cut them out.

For example, you might want to include information about your degree and your work experience, but not mention your GCSEs and A-Levels.

Hobbies and interests

Hobbies and interests aren’t always relevant to the job you’re applying for.

For example, your love of baking might not be interesting to the employer at the law firm.

However, if you’re applying for a role in a gym it’s worth mentioning that you play in a basketball team.

If you want to include some information about what you do for fun, your passions, or your interests, then do so!

Make sure it’s something that adds value and is something you could talk about at an interview, though.


According to, using too many keywords makes you seem lazy and unimaginative.

After consulting 562 hiring managers across several industries, the top 10 words to AVOID when writing your CV, and what to use instead.

  • Best. Alternatives: forefront, top, stand-out, high achiever.
  • Motivated. Alternatives: driven, inspired, goal-oriented.
  • Dedicated. Alternatives: devoted, resolute.
  • Proven. Alternatives: experienced.
  • Reliable. Alternatives: dependable, consistent.
  • Passionate. Alternatives: keen, eager, willing.
  • Excellent. Alternatives: exemplary, exceptional, outstanding.
  • Enthusiastic. Alternatives: keen, eager, willing.
  • Great. Alternatives: immense, notable, tremendous.
  • Hardworking. Alternatives: diligent, meticulous, industrious.


Sign up to a CV template site, such as, to put your words onto an eye-catching backdrop.

Make sure it is still professional, including the font and font size!

Don’t include a photograph of yourself, it’s not necessary to do so.

Space out the sections and use bullet points to make your CV easier to read.


But the most important tip – as we’ve mentioned – is to tailor your CV to that specific job you’re applying for, at that specific company.

So even if you’re applying for barista roles, you may want to alter your CV so your application to Starbucks is different to your CV for Costa Coffee.

Sending your CV with a cover letter is also important – and make sure to address this correctly and don’t get confused as to which firm you’re applying for if you’re sending off a lot of CVs at once.

Always make sure you spell the name of the person you are sending your CV to correctly.

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