A young woman sits on an orange carpet with her laptop. She is writing her CV on her laptop, ensuring that she uses the correct tenses in the correct places.

How to Create a Well Written CV in English

Hannah Mason

How to Create a Well Written CV in English

Hannah Mason • Sep 04, 2023

How can you improve the English on your CV? Having a professional looking CV that attracts the attention of hiring managers and recruiters is really important, and this can be easily achieved by downloading a professional CV template.

However, it's not enough just to have a CV that looks great, it also has to read well. Your CV is an indication of the quality of work that you'll produce for the company, it's also tells that reader how seriously you are taking the opportunity. Quite simply, a badly written CV will hold you back, and weaken your application.

Coming up

In this article, I'm going to show you how using the correct tenses in the right places will elevate your CV and make it sound very professional. I'll take you through the two most important sections of your CV, and provide examples to help. Whether of not English is your first language, it's essential that you use the correct tenses on your CV.

Summary Profile Section

This should be written in the first person ‘I’ and should include the present, past and future tenses. Think of this section as a short story where you tell the prospective employer who you are (present), what you’ve achieved (past) and what you could bring to their company (future).


“I am (present) an experienced recruiter and English teacher with a track record of helping candidates find their dream jobs. I have helped (past) hundreds of candidates prepare for job interviews and have written and reviewed CVs across multiple industries. I believe that I will (future) be able to help you improve your CV writing skills to land more job interviews.”

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Experience Section

This is the section where you include your job history. You should include a section for each job and it is best to use 5 – 6 bullet points for each job detailing what you did, focussing on specific achievements.

For this section, you should use the past tense, and ‘past simple’ works best here.

Past simple verbs usually end in -ed.

When writing this section, try to use a variety of verbs in the past simple and make sure that you pick verbs with the correct meaning.

This section is also written in the first person, however, you should not write the word ‘I’, as it is implied. In CV writing it is always best to be economical, make sure that every word counts!


• Consistently achieved challenging sales targets

• Coached candidates to succeed in job interviews

• Pitched to prospective new clients and negotiated sales terms

Notice that ‘I’ is implied (rather than written) in all of the above statements.


As a professional CV writer I have written hundreds of CVs for both native and non-native English speakers, and I know the importance of getting the basics right.

Small improvements such as using the correct tenses can have a huge overall impact to the way that your CV reads and how it represents you.

For much more in-depth advice on how to write a professional sounding CV, download my Ultimate Guide to Writing Your CV.