Tips to enhance your CV

by frank-stuart

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a detailed document presenting your educational and academic background to a potential employer. It should include your skills, work experience, key personal or professional milestones and your education. When applying for your next job, use these top ten tips to get noticed!

1. Layout

A Professional Layout will help to get your CV noticed.

The most important information should jump off the page, so consider using bold or underline for significant achievements or relevant work experience. Use a CV template that includes a footer, page numbers and your contact details. You may also have several versions of your CV depending on the role you are applying for.

Save your CV as a PDF or Word document as applications are not typically submitted by mail these days.

2. Contact Details

In regards to your contact details, ensure that these are professional! Beyond the pages of your CV, this includes the greetings recorded on your mobile phone or home phone. Consider renewing your email address to include your name (avoid email addresses referring to teen nicknames or physical appearance). Even though Facebook was created for social networking, review your privacy settings and images, as it is well known that employers may check Facebook accounts when shortlisting candidates.

3. Keywords

Underline the keywords on the job advertisement. Integrate these words in your cover letter and CV to ensure you meet all of the job criteria. Make sure it’s clear what job you want and how your skills make you the best candidate. Keep it brief and to the point. Powerful action verbs can enhance your roles and responsibilities.

4. Grammar

Review and check your grammar, punctuation and spelling. All previous jobs should be written in the past tense and current jobs are in the present. Don’t rely on your spell check!

5. Dates

A CV is written in reverse chronological order so make sure you start with your current role and work back. Lead with the year of employment. Along with dates, job titles and key information needs to attract the reader’s eye first to capture their attention.

6. Point of Difference

There may be hundreds of applicants applying for the one job. What have you done that will set you apart from the next person? Your academic grades, school contribution, community service, sporting success, charity work and personal attributes can be the difference. Include important and relevant information and ensure you use key metalanguage or terminology relevant to your industry. You need to demonstrate your currency!

7. Volunteer

Throw your hands up! The more you get involved in volunteer, work and professional experience, the quicker your career will develop. You will be recognised for your contribution.

8. References and Referees

References are not commonly used today as they rarely list points for development or weaknesses. The CV should list the names, titles and contact details of people who know you well and can comment specifically on your work experience. Referees are contacted when a preferred candidate has been selected. Make sure you contact your Referees early and let them know each time you apply for a new position.

9. Network

Bring your CV to life! Get noticed with friends and colleagues, take short courses to enhance your experience and don’t be afraid to attend every networking event available. Get online! Gone are the days of finding your job in the newspaper! Use online professional networks such as LinkedIn, or Plaxo. These networks have established groups that you can join with regular blogs, jobs and discussions to help keep you current. Be aware of where to find jobs. Sites such as Sportspeople and Seek will send Job Alerts relating to your specific profile. Actively seek roles rather than waiting for your ‘dream job’ and keep your CV up to date.

10. Further Advice

Look online at sites for examples of CV writing and job specific examples from sites such as Have a family member or friend review your CV prior to submission to provide you with honest feedback.

The Career Development Office and the Academic Development Office, as well as Student Services can support and assist all ACPE students with CV writing, the job application process, and interview skills. These services complement the academic programs at ACPE to ensure students are ‘job ready’.

Visit ACPE website for more information >


By Angelee Boyd – Associate Dean (Student Services) at ACPE

Angelee commenced at ACPE in 2002 and in 2007 and was appointed Associate Dean (Student Services). She has held Course Convenor roles for the Bachelor of Education and the BHM (Sport) degrees and managed the Elite Athlete Program. Angelee is currently on leave in the USA with her family for 2012 and is still developing and leading online units for ACPE. She will graduate with her PhD in July 2012. 

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