CV Writing Checklist

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 - Article, CV Writing, How to Write a CV, tutorial

CV Writing Checklist

This is the final part of our series on How To Write A CV


Recruiters, HR professionals and employers often complain about the quality of CVs they receive. Use this checklist to make sure yours stands out for the right reasons.

CV Help

First Impressions:

  • Always include a Cover Letter. 30% don’t and fail instantly!
  • The first thing I do with any CV is to hold it at arms length, and check the balance of paper/ink, and alignment
  • Make your CV easy to read (clear typeface, appropriate use of sub-headings and bullet points).
  • Use good quality paper – white, 100gsm or above
  • Check consistency:
    • Formatting (eg line spacing, use of bullets, typeface, headings/ sub-headings)
    • Grammar and punctuation (eg don’t mix full stops and semi-colons at the end of listed items)
    • Voice (eg first or third person).
  • Short, concise sentence – convey information, don’t tell a story.
  • Double-check all spelling.
  • Appropriate length – usually two pages, printed on two sheets of paper (academic CVs may be three pages or more; CVs for recruitment agencies may be one page)
  • Have at least two friends read it independently. Pick up on any issues they point out, particularly spelling and grammatical errors. Once you have absorbed their comments, make adjustments and ask them to read it again

Personal details:

  • Provide one contact address
  • Buy a Pay as you go mobile, and list its number
  • Make sure your eMail address is professional
  • If including a personal statement, tailor it to the job role

Work experience and skills:

  • Use SAR to write-up your skills
  • Consider highlighting relevant work experience in a separate “Relevant work experience” section.
  • Include voluntary work.
  • Only refer to experience / skills gained that are relevant to the job
  • Use specific examples of evidence to back up your claims


  • List your most recent qualifications first
  • Only refer to degree modules that are relevant to the job
  • Mention your project/ dissertation

Optional sections:

  • If including an “Interests” section, be specific – it’s more memorable
  • Consider adding a section for “Achievements”

If you need an interview winning solution, sign-up for our Professional CV service

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