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Business English: CVs
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Business English: CVs
by Howard Middle


Communicating with people in a business context often requires a more formal style than when writing to friends and family.

Similarly to business letters, which we covered in the November issue of MED Magazine, CVs often follow set phrases and headings.

Below you can find an example CV and notes explaining its features. These notes also include some useful set phrases often used in CVs.


Example CV


Personal details
Name Robert Brown
Address 4 Ash Grove Road, Anytown, OT2 7IR Tel: 0666 364 582
Nationality British
Date of birth 12/04/77
Marital status Single

(1) Personal profile

I am reliable, well organized, and used to working on my own initiative. I am able to prioritize my workload. I am comfortable working on my own or as part of a team.

(2) Key skills
Familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel Good problem-solver
Confident communicator Self-motivated
Able to cope under pressure Fluent in German
Clean driving licence  

(3) Work experience
2000 – Present Marketing Assistant, Success Solutions Unlimited, Manchester
Duties include planning and implementing all advertising and promotion, responding to enquiries, monitoring student performance
1998 – 2000 Teacher of English, Churchill School of English, Munich, Germany
August 1996 One month placement in the sales department of Newton Publishing, London

(4) Education
Dec 1997 Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Distinction)
1994–1997 London University: BA in English Literature and Language (2.2)
1987–1994 Minster College Secondary School, Wells
8 GCSEs, 3 A levels: English (A), German (B), Art (C)

Football, sailing, reading, landscape painting

(5) References
Available on request



1 Give a brief description of your most important personal qualities relevant to the post you are applying for.


2 Key skills relevant to the job are often listed before employment history. Useful phrases include:

  • Experienced ...
  • Experienced in ...
  • with a good knowledge of ...
  • Fluent/near-native command of French
  • adequate spoken/written Italian
  • Fully computer-literate
  • Self-starter (someone who can take responsibility, and work without supervision)


3 This can also be called Experience or Employment history. Start the list with your most recent job and finish with the earliest one. If you have had many jobs, include only your relevant work experience. You should also include relevant training courses, voluntary work etc.


4 This can also be called Qualifications or Educational qualifications. Start with your most recent qualifications and finish with your secondary education. It is not necessary to include details of your primary education.


5 References (the people that the employer can contact to get information about you) can be listed either at the end of the CV or included in a separate letter.


Next in the series

In the next issue of the magazine we will look at communicating by e-mail