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Bad CV, Good CV

Bad CV, Good CV Icon

Not all CVs are created equal! 

Take a look at the following CV. Can you spot what makes it less than ideal?

See if you can identify 10 things this candidate might want to improve on. Our list of improvements can be found below, but maybe you can find more!

Afterwards, we offer a simple suggested template for your own CV but there are also many variations online you can choose from instead. 

CV templates provided by Clare Cogan of Purple Chilli Recruitment ( with commentary from Kat Banbury of KB Graduate Solutions (

What could be improved?

  • Spelling Mistakes / Accuracy: The candidate has made many spelling errors, including one in Curriculum Vitae – not a great first impression! They’ve not included their full name and have made mistakes like using ‘personnel’ rather than ‘personal’. Spelling, grammar and accuracy are all really important and most companies won’t overlook errors so make sure to proof-read or ask a friend to check your CV for you.
  • Email Address: While it’s no one’s business what email address you choose for personal correspondence, it’s best to have one that sounds professional when applying for jobs. It might be an idea to set up a specific job-hunting one so you don’t miss any emails from recruiters or the companies you’ve applied to.
  • Personal Statement: This can be a nice touch to include (when spelled correctly!) but it must be as tailored as possible to both your own aspirations and the job in question. If you cannot create a punchy, super-targeted summary of you as a candidate it’s probably best to leave this off entirely.
  • Academic Information: This section could be more concise and more precise. A recruiter doesn’t need your nursery school details! But you should list high school and (if applicable) college names along with dates of study and the grades you achieved.
  • Work Experience – Layout: This section would benefit from clearer formatting and more consistent information. Each individual piece of work experience should have the same information e.g. Name of company, address (or at least location), role, dates of employment.
  • Work Experience – Content: The candidate gives very general information about their roles and responsibilities. Ideally it would be good to include key tasks plus skills developed (e.g. “I was responsible for taking orders and ensuring customer satisfaction in a busy restaurant environment. I developed my time-keeping, resilience, attention-to-detail and customer service skills.”
  • Interests/Hobbies: These are fine to include (if you have space!) but it’s best to keep them professional and ensure they are things you would be happy to discuss in an interview environment.
  • Skills: These should be relevant to the job in question and it might be better to just focus on language skills and IT skills (see below). Depending on the job you’re applying for, however, you might want to highlight other skills e.g. a full, clean driving license.
  • Computer Skills: It’s unlikely the interviewer needs to know about your FIFA proficiency so again best to keep things professional / work related. Use this section to detail your familiarity with Microsoft Office and any coding abilities, mentioning any certificates or qualifications gained, where relevant.
  • Overall Formatting: Anything that makes your CV easier to read is a good idea. This CV is not ‘easy on the eye’ and would benefit from slicker formatting (there are examples online – and below!) to make it more visually appealing and impactful to the reader.

Get in Touch

We encourage young people to reach out to their careers teams in their schools and universities, or engage directly with the industries featured here.