CV Writing Hints and Tips

When you apply for a role at Northumbria University we want you to present your skills and experience in the best possible way. This will help us to more easily determine your suitability for the role.

Your CV is an opportunity to promote yourself and the qualifications, skills and experience you can offer the University. Taking time to get this right can help to set you apart from other candidates.

Below you’ll find some basic points to consider when preparing your CV.

Tips on Content and Style

  • Use concise, unambiguous sentences; avoid exaggerations and a flowery writing style.
  • Bullet points are useful to highlight relevant skills, experience, and help to break up continuous text.
  • Explain your accomplishments and tell us about the skills you used to get the results you achieved.
  • Describe what you did 90% of the time, not 10% of the time.
  • If you are making a career change, explain how your skills are transferable to the role you are applying for.
  • Do not make false claims; honesty is always the best policy.
  • Ensure all dates are accurate and explain any long career gaps (i.e. travelling, career break etc.).
  • Don’t change tenses back and forth.
  • Avoid references to hobbies, activities and memberships, which are not relevant to the role requirements.
  • Avoid using jargon. As a general guide, always spell out the acronym if you think we may not be familiar with the term.
  • Most importantly, always thoroughly proof-read your CV or ask someone to do it for you.

Tips on Structure

There is no one set rule for how you should structure your CV. The style you choose will depend on the type of role you are applying for, your level of experience and where you are in your career.  Make sure your CV is well laid out so that it is immediately easy to read and understand. You may wish to consider including the following headings:

  • Personal Profile - a brief summary of your experience, goals, key skills and qualifications can give your CV extra impact and will help us to easily identify what you would bring to the role. Focus on including content that is relevant to the role.
  • Skills Summary- Include only key words to summarise the skills you’ll bring to the role.
  • Current/ Most Recent Employment – tell us about the role you do now or have done most recently and give details of your key responsibilities, achievements and successes.
  • Employment History- tell us briefly about the roles you’ve done in the past. Put your most recent job first and work backward chronologically in time.
  • Education and Qualifications- tell us about your education and any relevant qualifications. Put your highest level of qualification first.
  • List of Publications - Tell us about any published books or articles, include the title, date of publication and publisher.