Writing a CV

A CV is a brief, factual account of your life to date. Although there is no single right way to write a CV, there is plenty of guidance on what the content should be. 

Content tips

  • CVs shouldn't be longer than two pages.
  • Include everything that illustrates your talents and achievements. Do not be modest, be comprehensive, but do be brief.
  • Do not spend too much time on self-congratulatory phrases such as "I am a dynamic self-motivated student with a strong ambition to succeed." Employers want to see evidence.
  • Review your life and career to date carefully, and do not miss out significant events.
  • Employment should include vacation work, even though it may not seem relevant. It helps present you as someone who is hardworking.
  • You can also provide information on interests and hobbies (concentrate on those you pursue actively), positions of responsibility, your skills (many people overlook important skills such as computer literacy). You could consider a section on 'achievements' to cover events where you have been successful or have had to assume responsibilities such as charity fund-raising.
  • It is common practice to include two references at the end of a CV - one academic and one employer if possible.

For more advice use MyCareerExplorer's CV Builder - log-in using your NTU ID and password

Presentation tips

Make sure that your CV looks good and is easy to read - it is your personal sales brochure.

  • Layout and presentation are vital - the person reading your CV will have many others to read as well – yours must be engaging and memorable.
  • Your CV is likely to be read in one or two minutes, so clarity is essential.
  • Avoid long sentences by writing in notes and use bullet lists if it makes your message clearer.
  • Be consistent in your presentation.
  • Use capital letters, underlining or bold type for headings. Break your document up into easy-to-read sections. If you do not do this, much of what you have written may be missed.
  • Avoid too much detail - especially on technical matters. It may be important, but will it be understood by the reader?
  • Print your CV on good quality paper.






An employer at a careers fair