CV Tips – Do’s and Don’ts

Working in recruitment, we look at a LOT of CVs. One thing that can help or hinder a candidate is how they’ve laid out their CV – we try to look past the structure to the content, but this is made MUCH easier when the information is presented clearly and logically. It’s not about fancy designs (unless you are applying for design roles), but a well-structured CV demonstrates your written communication skills, which are essential in any publishing job.

Do

DO clearly set out the dates (month and year) you worked at any position.

e.g. November 2015 – October 2017        Atwood Publishing          Sales Assistant

DO use concrete figures and examples to back up your achievements. Statistics sound impressive!

DO use bullet points which list your responsibilities and accomplishments in each previous role.

DO include a brief ‘Profile’ at the top of your CV. This is optional, but can give you an opportunity to highlight your most relevant skills and experience for the job. It should be tailored to each role you apply for. Do NOT exceed a couple of sentences.

DO save your document as a Word or PDF document and name it something like ‘Jane Bloggs CV’.

DO specify the relevant IT programmes or programming languages you are competent in under your ‘Skills’ section – InDesign, Microsoft Office, WordPress, HTML etc. Also mention if you can speak any foreign languages.

DO maintain a professional style. You can include details of your interests to make it personal; however, a CV shouldn’t be in an informal or ‘chatty’ style.

DO list your education and employment in reverse chronological order. However, if your most relevant experience is not your most recent, you may want to do a separate ‘Relevant Experience’ section above your ‘Recent Employment’ section.

DO provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, and if it’s relevant (such as for publicity roles) your Twitter handle or blog URL.

Don’t

DON’T write long paragraphs. It makes the relevant information harder to find and a Hiring Manager might miss something important.

DON’T go over two sides of A4. You need to demonstrate you can prioritise relevant information.

DON’T include a picture, date of birth or details of your marital status.

DON’T write ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top. It’s a waste of space as the hiring manager already knows what they’re looking at, so just put your full name.

DON’T list all your GCSEs or O-Levels, as it takes up too much space. It’s fine to put ‘3 x A grades, 6 x B grades, 1 x C grade, including English and Maths at grade B.’

DON’T include details of every module you took for your degree, but only include something if it’s relevant for the role you want.

DON’T mention anything political or controversial.

Other Resources

See our suggested CV layout here! You can also find more resources on our advice page.

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