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CV Tips of the Trade

Mike 'the Earl of' Hurl is a former classroom assistant and a former primary school teacher. Now, as a Senior Resource Consultant at Protocol Education, he sees more than 500 CVs a year!

Ah, the CV. The bane of many people’s lives, especially teachers. To my mind, there are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, for the most part, teachers generally secure work by completing application forms. Secondly, and maybe most importantly, I consider teachers to be the kind of people who find it hard to big themselves up – far too modest sometimes!

Here follows a contrived effort to give some tips, tricks and things to avoid when compiling your curriculum vitae:

Concise - try to limit your CV to no more than 3 pages

Up to date- your CV is a living document, remember to add to it/edit it regularly. I regularly see CVs that indicate the person is still in a job yet when I speak to them they finished that position months ago!

Relevant - one way to keep your CV to a manageable length is to highlight the experience that is related to the job you are applying for

Readable- try to ensure your use of font/layout is consistent, for example, if you have one heading in bold, all headings need to be in bold

Informative-  tell the reader something about your previous jobs (roles, responsibilities, successes), provide accurate dates (month and year)

Contactable - please include at least one way of contacting you – preferably an email address or a mobile phone number – although both is better!

Unambiguous - do avoid vagueness when detailing your experience

Leisure - ah, hobbies and interests. One of the areas of a CV that I personally do not think is necessary. If your hobbies have lead to a position of responsibility then sure, put it in. However, telling your potential future employer that you like to watch films or listen to music is not going to be what gets you the job

Unconventional - yes, you want your CV to stand out, but the way NOT to do this is to use lots of colours or funky fonts

Meagre - although you want to limit your page count, a CV should realistically be no less than 2 A4 pages long


Varied - if you’ve worked in different industries please try to detail how the skills you used there are transferrable

Irrelevant - you are applying for a job, I do not need to know your marital status

Truthful - this goes without saying (I hope) – do try to be honest

Accentuate - emphasise what it is about you that is going to make an employer choose your CV over others

Eloquence - although there isn’t a need to be overly ‘wordy’ please ensure your CV reads correctly. Ask a friend or family member to read it for you before you send it off

Most importantly, use that CV to sell yourself – first impressions count and you only get one of those!


We are here to help when it comes to updating your CV.

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Tags: MikeH, Protocol-Education, staff, CV, advice, help

Category: Australian Teachers

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