A beginner’s guide to writing a CV

Are you ready to start applying for jobs? How great is that? The first important thing to do when kicking off your journey in the working world is to make sure you have a well-written, neat curriculum vitae (CV) ready to send on to any hopeful employers so that they can learn more about you. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when building yours, ensuring you have covered all the essentials.

What to include: 

  • Full name
  • Contact details: Address, phone number, email address
  • Your skills and strengths
  • Any past work experience
  • Education level: Where you’ve studied, for how long, and your results
  • A cover letter: A paragraph or two summing up who you are as a professional, and what you want to offer to employers. Try and write it for the specific job you are applying for, to make it more relevant.
  • A photo of yourself: Keep this professional and appropriate. A simple head and shoulders photo and your best smile should do it.


Remember, keep your CV down to one to two A4 pages. Bulleted lists with headings and basic, easy-to-read fonts at size 11 or 12 will make a huge difference to those reviewing your CV.


You don’t need to include a full list of references on your CV, but add a line saying “References on request”, so that the employer can contact you for these should they need them. Your references can include any previous employers or your educators.

Stick to a template

Not sure where to even begin when it comes to typing up your CV? Not to worry! There are tons of free resources online that can guide you. Try out these great templates from the website resume.io. There are plenty of styles to choose from and they will come in handy when it comes to how to format it and where to place certain information. You can find the free online templates here: https://resume.io/resume-templates (Note: This is an external link to a site outside of DBE-E³ and data rates may apply.).

Read your CV

Don’t forget to read over your CV (ask a family member or friend to as well) before printing it or emailing it to potential employers. Check for any spelling mistakes or any places you can improve your CV.