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» How to write a professional CV

How to Write a Professional CV

Anglia CV Solutions Guide To Writing a Professional CV

Writing a CV yourself can be difficult, more difficult than you would initially think.  It's not always easy to write about yourself, your skills and your work history objectively, whilst ensuring you meet the demanding criteria expected of a contemporary, professional CV in today's highly competitive market.

Your CV is your marketing tool and you should always think about how to best promote yourself to a potential employer; using your key attributes, skills and achievements to make yourself stand out from the competition... securing an interview.

Whilst the majority of people have probably written a CV of some description at some point in their career history; now, more than ever, is it essential that every aspect of a CV is perfect in everyway.  It is all too easy to make some of the common CV writing mistakes we see every day.

Below you will find some helpful hints and guidance on how to write a CV and how it should be structured. 

Contact Details

It is essential that the HR department or recruiter can get hold of you, you should include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Numbers (landline/mobile)     
  • Email Address

You do not need to include:

·         Age or date of birth

·         Nationality

·         Marital Status or Dependants

The contact details should be at the top of the CV so they can be easily located.  You do not want to miss out on an interview because the recruiter can’t contact you!  It is amazing how many CVs we see each week, which omit these vital pieces of information.

TIP: Make sure your email address sounds professional or at least half normal, not something silly such as and remove the hyperlink. (Right click link, select remove hyperlink)

Your Profile

·         Note down five to six of your key attributes and what you can offer the employer.

·         Write a sharp, punchy profile that will capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to read on.  Three to four sentences of relevance should suffice, do not waffle.

·         Be confident and positive in your abilities and orientate the sentences around the type of position you are looking for.

·         You could also include a short, concise statement which advises the recruiter of the type of job you are currently seeking.

TIP: If you have seen a particular job advertised, scrutinise the wording used in the advert or you could request the job specification.  This will help you to identify the key attributes the company is looking for.  Providing your skills and experience match those criteria, why not utilise those words! 

Career Objective

It is usually good practice to include a short career objective: a few lines outlining your career aspirations.  This is particularly useful for candidates still forging their career path.

Key Skills and Achievements

·         Identify four or five of your best assets and list your key skills with a brief description of how you fulfill that skill in the workplace.

·         Try to list three or four key achievements throughout your career, making the statements impactual and impressive - try to include facts, figures or another quantifiable in each sentence.

·         The key skills and achievements section should reinforce the claims made in your personal profile where possible and demonstrate you are able to deliver.

Professional Experience / Work Experience / Career Summary

This is where you should document your career history to date.  Start with your current or most recent job first and work backwards.  The last ten years should be listed, with more focus placed on the last five years in particular.

You should include:

·         Job Title

·         Name of Company and its Location (full address or website is not necessary)

·         Dates of employment (years should suffice)

What the content should include:

For each position, think about the work you undertook and how this could benefit the potential employer and how it meets the requirements of the role being advertised.  Menial tasks should be avoided if you have more suitable senior tasks, which can be listed and we would always recommend you group relevant points together.


How to write the content:


·         Start sentences with power verbs for impact and use succinct bullet point statements, which are easier to read and demonstrate you can organise your thoughts cohesively

·         Facts and figures to reinforce your statements: think about numbers of people, amount of sales, locations, values, %'s, types of business, speed of handling, budgets, turnover, etc

Things to avoid:

·         Repetition of the same words.

·         Try to avoid using ‘responsible’, be creative and use other action words.

·         Do not use names, ‘I’ or ‘my’, 'he' or 'she' throughout the entire CV.

TIP: Use strong 'Action Words' and 'Power Verbs' within your bulleted statements to give your career history and abilities real impact!

Education / Professional Training

Under this section, you should include any formal education, courses or job relevant internal training programs.

Start with your most recent or highly awarded qualification first and work backwards.  Where grades are not so good, there are occasions when they can be omitted and if you are in a senior position, lesser grades are not always required.

You should include:

  • Name of course
  • Place of Education
  • Date of Award
  • Grade or Score

TIP: Languages and computer competence can also be listed, as can any relevant association memberships to give you more credibility.

Hobbies / Personal Interests 

If you are at a lower stage in your career or have outside interests which could relate to your job, then it can be useful to include a short statement to demonstrate these and skills, such as: team building, volunteer work, ongoing commitment.

However, if you are more established in your career, the space would be better used to sell your work skills and we would recommend this is omitted.


You do not need to include reference details but can state: 
'References are available on request'.


Your CV should be no more than two pages long.  It will demonstrate your ability to organise your thoughts cohesively and also validate that you are able to prioritise.


For the UK market, we recommend that photographs are not included unless you are going to apply for television or modelling work, or, if the position specifically requests you include a picture.

Why not get some cost-effective professional help? 
Get your professionally written CV for just £49.99

Anglia CV Solutions are professional CV writers and we are skilled at transforming failing, dull and lifeless CVs in to professional contemporary CVs, which make a dramatic impact when sent to prospective employers.

We are currently offering a CV Makeover Service for just £49.99! 

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