Upgrade to ChromeUpgrade to FirefoxUpgrade to Internet ExplorerUpgrade to Safari

How to write a CV in English

4th June 2017

If you are looking to work in an English-speaking role or country, you’ll need an English CV (resumé*).  But writing a CV in English can be very different to writing one in your own language. In this article, you will find our top tips on how to make your CV stand out from the crowd.

*A resumé is an American English term for a CV

The Basics

The most important step in how to write a CV is to take your time. You CV is your first opportunity to make a good impression, so don’t get it wrong. Before starting to draft your CV, read the job advert carefully so you can tailor your CV to the job requirements, focusing on the things that are most relevant.

Dos and Don’ts

Here are our top Dos and Don’ts while writing your CV.


  • Keep your CV brief and concise: you don’t have to go into a lot of detail about your education or employment history
  • Use brief, informative sentences, and short paragraphs, and standard English
  • When describing your responsibilities and achievements, start each point with an action verb (such as teaching, working, leading)
  • Use bold type to highlight key information
  • Proofread for spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes


  • Include too much detail: employers are too busy to read everything
  • Use too many different fonts: keep to one or two that are clean and easy to read
  • Use inappropriate colours, graphics, language

Structuring your CV 

Your CV should be clean and well structured, with clear sections, so that an employer can read it easily.

Here are some broad guidelines on how to structure your CV.

  1. Personal details

Name and contact information should be at the top of the front page.

Do include ?

Do not include * ?


Date of birth


Marital status






*There’s no need to include that, unless the job advert has specifically asked you for this information.

  1. Employment history

Start with your most recent position and list in reverse chronological order. Give a brief outline of your current role, responsibilities and skills. It is also good to show your start and finish dates in years only- it looks better and helps hide any gaps when you may have been ‘in-between’ jobs.

  1. Education

If you graduated from a university or you are currently studying towards a professional qualification relating to your chosen career, then position this section near the top of your CV.

However, if your career history is your strongest selling point then place the Education section towards the end of your CV.

  1. Any other skills, achievements or trainings

This section highlights your unique selling points to a prospective employer. This can give your potential employer an insight into the type of person you are. Showing how you are going to be a positive addition to their workforce.

For more tips on writing CVs as well as learning interview techniques and skills needed in the workplace, check out our Business English courses.

Accreditation, Membership & Exam Centre

Translate 🇬🇧