How to write the perfect CV

If you’ve just graduated or about to look for your next challenge and need to give your CV a face lift, here are Dovetail Recruitment’s top tips on how to write the perfect CV.

Firstly, to give yourself the best shot, you should tailor your CV for each job application, you may need to highlight certain skills, achievements and experience differently for each role.

Basic, but important information to include/avoid:

  1. Precise dates – it’s important to show stability
  2. Reasons for leaving – this gives your future employer good insights into your motivations
  3. Name, contact details and your email on your CV, every page – header and footer
  4. Don’t include personal information such as age or marital status
  5. Photos – it’s becoming more common, but we recommend not including a photo


  1. Don’t try and limit it to one or two pages – use the space you need to sell yourself
  2. Use correct English and grammar, elaborate your points – don’t abbreviate
  3. Use clear bold headings for each section
  4. Include your Linked in profile link, (having set up a unique link and make sure it’s up-to-date)
  5. Save your document in different formats, including PDF – the PDF saves all of your formatting, ensuring that hard work getting your CV to look right isn’t wasted.
  6. Traditional format or Infographic format?- Infographics are suited more to the creative roles, allowing you scope to show off your layout skills, pls see below.

Personal Profile

This is probably the most important part of your CV – include this at the start to grab your potential employer’s interest and sell yourself at the start. It should include:

1.            Who are you?
2.            What can you offer the company?
3.            What are your career goals?

Specific examples:

  1. Summarise your career, what are you like as a person?
  2. Manager – what type of style do you have?
  3. Greatest achievements
  4. What are you looking to do? What do people recognise you for?

Infographic CV

Work History

  1. Include dates with months. Start with most recent first
  2. 8-10 bullet points of key duties and responsibilities – as a guide. Junior or senior roles will vary in length.
  3. Include your key achievements in each position

Professional Qualifications & Education

  1. Detail your professional qualifications, education and grades, with dates
  2. Start with most recent first
  3. Include anything relevant to the role you are applying for


Use this section to highlight both technical skills and professional skills. If you’re applying for a technical role – include this section just below your personal profile

  1. Diary skills, Ability to negotiation. SAP skills.
  2. Include all software applications you can use – e.g. word, excel, photoshop etc.

Hobbies / Interests

This is optional, but if you do include make it personal to you, not just the generic list of topics
e.g. walking, eating, yoga, swimming. Try and use it to highlight something more memorable to stand out from other applicants, and of course things that are relevant to the job.

Please download these CV templates – to get you started.

Related Dovetail articles:
How to write the perfect covering letter
Get your interview head on
How to hand in your notice