CV writing tips

Your CV allows you to highlight your career. It should enable you to stand out amongst the competition, so that the recruiter offers you the chance of an interview. However, to get to that stage, says professional CV writer Shabbir Kagalwala, you must first consider the fundamentals of writing a CV. 

Basic is best

We all want to construct our CV's so they portray what we are, who we are, and where we see ourselves next in our career. Let the CV speak for itself by using the right symphony of words that attract the recruiter, but don’t go overboard by using fancy fonts or over descriptive language. You can make the perfect impression by making an extremely prosaic CV.

Redact the title

Including the document title ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘CV’ as a heading will take up unnecessary space on your CV. Your recruiter will be aware what this document is, and it is better to be concise throughout the entirety of your CV. Remove the title, simply include your name and other details at the top instead.

Considerable length

The length of the CV should be between one to three pages at the maximum, depending on your employment history and experience. An unnecessarily lengthy CV won’t provide any extra value, so keeping it as short as possible is beneficial. Trim it down to a suitable page count and say the things that you couldn’t cover in your CV to the person at your interview instead.


The best part about writing a CV is selling yourself for a new role in the entirety of one to two pages. Don’t be repetitive or let the recruiter read through unnecessary text that gives no insight whatsoever.


Sometimes what you include in your CV could be arbitrary and ambiguous. For this reason, make the meaning of what you are writing obvious. For example, along with the name of your degree, it is essential to add the name ofthe course, the respective grade, the university, and the year you completed the course in. Remember to put your newest qualifications at the top, followed by the older ones.


You are risking having your most crucial information misspelt and the recruiter might notice one of your errors and note you down as tardy and uninterested if you fail to proofread properly.

Condensed, filtered information

You don’t want to include all the details of your past job, which will bore the employer. Skip the intricacies and include only the relevant points, and customise your CV for every job you apply for.

Generalised pronouns

Keep your CV strictly generalised in terms of pronominal forms. For example, instead of stating: my team and I formulated the work design, steer clear of the pronouns altogether. Instead write: formulated the work design, and then put it under bullet points, so it’s easy to skim over.

Actual jobs

Many employees make the mistake of including ‘stints’ or short-term jobs that they’ve had. This just gives the impression that you are erratic and inconsistent with your work. Only include long-term, relatively permanent jobs that give a smooth, consistent flow, to your professional experience.

Refrain from listing hobbies

Putting down hobbies that have no relevance to the job, has a very nonchalant effect on the employer and adds zero value to your job application. However, if you feel like your CV is missing something extra, you can insert additional section of interests that accentuate your work flair and creativity.

If you would like to speak to one of our consultants regarding your job search, please get in touch with your local Michael Page office for a confidential discussion.

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