Writing a CV

Drawing up a CV (Curriculum Vitae) or rsum is not only necessary when applying for jobs, it can also be very useful for your own benefit and will help you appraise the skills you have gained through education, training, employment, voluntary work, leisure and other activities. In turn it will help to highlight skills that you should work on developing.

There are numerous different ways of setting out and presenting a CV for the purpose of applying for a job - you should be very careful to include all relevant information and make sure your document is well written and well presented.

The Golden Rule of CV Writing

  • Put yourself in the recruiter's shoes and think about what they need to know about you. The job description should give you a reasonable idea.
  • Use your CV to tell them what they need to know upfront and clearly, in a way that looks professional and believable.
  • Your CV will not get you the job but, if done well, should give you at least a foot in the door.

Writing a CV

1. State what you've learnt

You'll have acquired some skills and knowledge. So talk about what you gained in clear, simple language.

2. Make it relevant

If the job you're applying for requires particular skills and you've shown them in your work experience, focus on them.

3. Don't exaggerate or tell lies

If you invent things, you could get into trouble - so tell the truth.

4. Use bullet points

They're a great way of isolating the skills you've gained. What's more, they're quick to read.

5. Remember the reference

If you've been offered a reference, note down the person's name and contact details on your CV.

Useful to know


Play the Boss

Bosses are very busy people. They won't have long to look at a CV before deciding if it should be put forward for the job. So you need to make sure your CV stands out for the right reasons.


  1. Against the clock, play the boss and choose the CVs you think should be picked for the job.
  2. Give the correct CVs a thumbs up and the CVs with mistakes a thumbs down.
  3. See how well you did by comparing your choices to the boss.

CV builder

A standout CV will ensure time-poor employers take notice. Use the CV Builder to create a CV that gets to the top of the pile when you start applying for jobs.


  1. Create your CV by filling out the Key Info, Education, Work and Personal sections.
  2. If you need tips or help click the information button.
  3. Download your completed CV to print or edit at a later date.

* In order to complete the activity you will need to register on the LifeSkills created with Barclays website.