Ten Things I Hate About CVs

Ten Things I Hate About CVs

1. Poor layout

2. Lack of detail

3. General and/or vague information about one’s role

4. When some content is clearly just copied and pasted

5. Grammar and punctuation errors

6. Key information hidden in a rambling paragraph

7. Overuse of adjectives especially when they are the same

8. Out of date information or information that is no longer relevant

9. When a CV is not up to date with most recent experience

Everyone has an opinion on how CVs should be written so here’s my two cents’ worth or twenty pounds worth if you’re blogging for Protocol Education.

  • Approach your CV positively it’s an accumulation of your achievements and experiences to date of which you should be proud of and want to communicate to others.
  • Remember you don’t write your CV for yourself so you need to ask yourself, who is the reader and what are they looking for?
  • Fortunately there is a relatively set format to use when compiling your CV. Download our CV templates (Experienced TeacherNewly Qualified Teacher (NQT)Support Worker). The key categories I would recommend to organise your content are;
    • Teaching History
    • Other Relevant Experience
    • Qualifications
    • Additional Skills & Achievements
    • and a Supporting Statement.
  • Your CV is your gateway, you need to generate enough interest in the reader to get them to act and make contact with you. You need to get across your achievements and experiences; lack of detail on a CV is only limiting your chances of selection. Providing specific information is vital. In terms of your teaching history make sure to include dates, contract types, type of school, classes taught including sizes, levels & subjects, SEN experience, EAL experience, CPD, extra-curricular activities, achievements of your students and/or classes and results of your exam classes.
  • Share your CV with others and ask for feedback. You don’t have to act on it but it is good to get different perspectives on your CV. Ask someone whom you know who is a stickler for grammar and punctuation to read through it focusing on this. The only reason for an error on a CV is lack of attention to detail and it does not make a good impression.
  • Your supporting statement should get across your goals, your passion for teaching and your philosophy of education.  You should also be thinking about what value you can add to the school i.e. what differentiates you from other applicants.

Once your CV is completed it doesn’t end there!

  • Now that it’s done, get it out there and follow up with a phone call. Your CV is no good sitting in “My Documents” send it out to prospective employers. If nothing else it will most likely be kept on file and you never know when you might get a call.
  • Your CV should always be a work in progress. Don’t be complacent with it, reread it and make amendments as they strike you, also make sure to keep it up to date by adding in your new achievements and experience.
  • Once it’s written you need to be able to expand on the content. This is vital, while you need to be concise with the amount of information you can put in your CV you should be able to speak at length about your experience.

10. And the thing I hate the most about CVs is that they make us reflect on and portray our lives in a linear way where everything has been planned and has a nice sequenced structure to it. When I believe life is more an accumulation of experiences brought about from our circumstances and various opportunities that have come our way.


Clodagh is an Irish-trained secondary teacher who taught in London for three years before joining the international team here at Protocol Education working with our overseas teachers.

Article courtesy of Protocol Education PE_logo_web_main_300x100px