3.1. Writing a CV

Piles of Cvs

Image in Flickr by woodleywonderworks under CC

When you go job hunting you have to look at many job advertisments. Once you have found a job you are interested in you have to prepare your CV and your cover letter.

A CV (or résumé in the USA) is a one or two page summary of your personal details, education, skills, achievements, work experience and interests. Your CV’s purpose is to get an interview where you can sell yourself. A successful CV should be simple, concise and easy to read. It should be written with the prospective job in mind.

A CV should include:

Name, address, telephone, email, date of birth, nationality…

A brief summary of your status and personality, relevant to the job you are applying for.

Including dates and places.

Including detailed data relevant to the job you are applying for

Specify your command of languages: level, certification, etc.


Any other information that has not been included before and can be relevant for the job i.e.: driving licence, own car, computer skills…

Two people that know you professionally so that they can give reference about your work when asked; you should provide as much information as possible about them (email, telephone, work address, etc) so that your future employer can contact them easily.


The Dos and Don’ts of CV writing.


  • Proofread it: no grammar or spelling mistakes.
  • Ensure the CV looks professional.
  • Use relevant keywords.
  • Include all the relevant points.
  • Use positive language.


  • Use jargon or slang.
  • Start each sentence in the first person.
  • Make it too long.
  • Get creative.
  • Include a photo.
Rellenar huecos

MoleskineImage in Flickr by Rob_L under CC

Are you ready to test what you have learned about CVs? Let’s see. Match the headings with the ideas related.

Curriculum Vitae
Number Ideas related to headings
Personal details 1. Advanced programming capability.
Education 2. Portuguese: Intermediate / Arabic: False Beginner.
Languages 3. Travelled round the world 1995 – 1996.
Other information 4. One year working experience as administrative assistant.
Professional experience 5. Peter Jones, 25 years old, British.
Hobbies and interests 6. A-levels: Geography (A), Maths (B), English (B).


For more information on writing CVs log on to the English Club site:
Resumes, CVs and Covering Letters.
AV – Actividad de Espacios en Blanco

Close up of Lola
Image in Flickr by matt.herzog under CC

Complete Lola’s CV with a heading from the list.  

Additional Skills
Personal details
Personal statement
Professional Experience

Lola Mañas Álvarez

Address Avenida de la Plata 47
Granada 18014 Spain
Tel 649 587403
Email lolama@gmail.com
Date of birth 15 Jan 1985
Marital status Single

I am self-motivated and hard working. I have initiative and can work as part of a team. I have excellent communication and leadership skills and I am good at solving problems.

2003 – 2005 Universidad de Granada. Diploma in Business Studies with Tourism
1995 – 2003 IES La Madraza, Granada Bachillerato (A Level equivalent)

2005 – present Hotel Saray, Granada.
Assistant to Conference Manager
Responsible for providing administrative support, answering enquiries, taking bookings, arranging catering.
Employee of the Year, 2006.
Summer 2005 Castila Spanish School, Marbella.
Social/Sports Officer
In charge of escorting groups of foreign students, arranging schedules, planning social events, organising sports activities, managing a budget.

Yoga, swimming, skiing, classical music, theatre, current affairs

Fluent English
Working knowledge of French
Clean driving licence
Computer literate (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)

Antonio Rodriguez Claret, Manager of Castila Spanish School
Marta Torres Segovia, Business Administration School, Universidad de Granada

Pregunta Verdadero-Falso

Watch the video above and do the listening activity. Are the sentences true or false?
Your CV should be no longer than two pages.

Verdadero Falso

Your CV should start with a long personal profile.

Verdadero Falso

When giving details of your employment history start with the first job you had and finish with your present job.

Verdadero Falso

In the education section you should include every course you’ve done.

Verdadero Falso

You should state that references are available if needed.

Verdadero Falso

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