CV Guidance

Some useful tips and guidance

Your CV should be written in a clear, concise manner
and have a simple layout and a logical order  

Curriculum Vitae (CV) guidance and templates

IRS offers CV guidance and templates to help you build a CV that will thoroughly impress employers. A CV should be updated on a regular basis to enable you to respond quickly to job opportunities. Your CV gives you an opportunity to present your skills and your experience to a prospective employer in the format they prefer. It is an opportunity to gain an advantage over other candidates. In this section, we'll explain how.

Your CV should be written in a clear, concise manner and have a simple layout and logical order. The order should begin with your details, and then include a profile, employment, education, extra-curricular achievements and references.

Your details

This brief section should include your full name, current address, home and mobile numbers and an email address so potential employers can contact you easily.


You should write a short paragraph for this, detailing your main strengths and skills. These should relate to the key requirements of the job that is being applied for. This section is the one that employers are most likely to read so take some time over it and make sure that it offers the best first impression of you.


Employment details should be included in chronological order, starting with the most recent. You should list the job title, company name, location and dates of your employment for each company. Your most current role should feature more prominently than others and five to ten bullet points should be made about the key skills that you developed and achievements you gained.


In order, you should list your academic achievements at all levels (starting with University, College or Senior School as applicable). You should include the school name, dates you attended, subjects studied and the grades achieved. For your most recent academic qualifications you can bullet point the main skills that you adopted. 

Extra-curricular achievements

Here you should provide details of any professional development and training you underwent, such as work experience. Voluntary roles and extra-curricular interests can also be included in this section, and should reflect positive transferable skills. The achievements should be relevant to the job that you are applying for and bullet points can be used to list key points.


If applicable, you should list two referees who can be contacted for references by the employers. Names, addresses and contact details should be included.

Top 10 tips: the worst things to do on your CV

  1. Use lengthy paragraphs

  2. Tell lies or exaggerate

  3. Use colours 

  4. Use text/colloquial vocabulary

  5. Use small font sizes and flowery typefaces

  6. List more than two referees

  7. Divulge sensitive information (such as your N.I number)

  8. Write more than five pages

  9. Include an inappropriate email address

  10. Leave the CV out-of-date (the worst thing to do!)

Top 10 tips: the best things to do on your CV

  1. Check for spelling and grammatical errors

  2. Get somebody else to proof read 

  3. Ensure that the information is in the correct order and check spellings

  4. Include a cover letter

  5. Use a simple format

  6. Tailor it to the job being applied for

  7. Make it keyword friendly

  8. Trim it down where appropriate

  9. Quantify your achievements (use figures and percentages)

  10. Take a break when updating it

Download our CV Template (right click and save as) to help you get started.

To learn more, please call our friendly team today on 0333 600 6100


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