The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a new CV

If you are leaving the service any time soon, writing a new CV can be a daunting task. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you through the process.


  • Keep it clear, concise and simple – your skills and experience must be easily identified and relevant for the role you are applying for, a good CV should only be 2 or 3 pages
  • Include all start and end dates for each employment using the month and year format – the length of employment must be clear so any potential gaps can be identified
  • Include evidence based reasons why you would be suitable for the role you are applying for in your opening statement/professional summary as well as mentioning the role and organisation you are applying for
  • Highlight achievements and successes, rather than tasks and duties – sell your skills
  • State your reason for leaving in each section beneath each particular role and ensure the reason is positive e.g. to progress my career/personal development
  •  Proofread before sending out – spelling and grammar checks can only go so far so ensuring you read through everything important, a second opinion is even better
  • Adapt your skills and experience to the role you are applying for – direct or indirect skill transfers
  • Include all professional qualifications that may be relevant to the role
  • Stay consistent throughout, especially formatting – use the same bullet points and spacing throughout
  • Use an automatic CV writer if you are struggling, it does all hard work for you as well as making sure you include all information needed
  • Make sure each section is clearly separated so recruiters can easily go to the information they are looking for


  • Use a small font to fit everything on fewer pages – if you feel there are too many pages to your CV, there may be too much information, try using bullet points to keep the information concise
  • Use a lot of jargon – recruiters or the person responsible for hiring may not come from the same background as you so jargon, such as acronyms may not be immediately clear as to what you are referring to
  • Leave out important information, such as breaks in employment or your contact details
  • Include information that is not relevant to the role you are applying for
  • Be generic in your personal information section at the end – give interesting details about your life, rather than “enjoys travelling and socialising with friends”
  • Include too many personal details – date of birth, NI number, nationality or religious beliefs are not necessary, all you need are your contact details
  • Get creative with fonts – using Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman are universal and easy to read
  • Use an old email account that may appear unprofessional –