Fragments, Articles And Other Technicalities When Writing A CV


When a client uses one of our CV writing services, we are often asked about fragments within the document. Fragments are incomplete sentences that are highlighted in Microsoft Word with a squiggly green line.

As you’re no doubt already aware, CVs require short, crisp statements that get to the point and do not need to be ‘complete’ sentences; for conciseness and brevity, fragments are often preferred.

For example, instead of 1 full sentence saying:

“I supported the creation and management of a database using Microsoft Access for customer account management as well as, the development of a customer call log”.

Split the information into 2 ‘punchy’ bullet points:

  • “Created and managed customer account management database using Microsoft Access.
  • Developed and maintained a customer call log.”

image of word document grammar check

"Don't worry too much if you see this little green line in your CV!…"

"I worked in..."

Avoid starting every bullet point with, ‘worked in’. This is to be expected – everybody ‘works’ somewhere, right?. You should instead specify what you did through the use of power words or verbs, such as: “managed”, “supervised” and “controlled”.

Avoid the use of articles

When writing your CV, you should minimise the use of articles (the, an, a).

Write in plain English

It can be tempting to use big, ‘clever-sounding’ words when writing your CV. However, rather than making you look good, 9 times out of 10, they’ll make you look silly. As an example:

“I facilitated the solution of a problem relating to customer bookings”. Rather than ‘I facilitated the solution’, the candidate could have just used the word ‘solved’.

Don't overuse bullet points

To bullet point, or not to bullet point? This is a matter of personal choice and there are no absolutely right or wrong ways to do this. We often prefer using a properly constructed “prosaic” form, especially in the job description as we feel we can describe the “whole” person this way rather than just list what they have done – ideally the CV should be a document that paints a picture of you as a complete individual. Therefore, using a mix of both is the best idea.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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