Writing a Curriculum Vitae / Resume – CV Writing Tips

These CV writing tips are specifically aimed at Construction and Engineering candidates, but we are sure that you can apply these tips to most disciplines.

  • If a recruitment advert asks for a specific type of construction or engineering project on your CV, make sure you include the detail of that project, no matter how long ago it was.
  • Yes, you can have different Curriculum Vitae /resumes to highlight particular areas of your experience for different job vacancies.
  • You should always adjust your CV /Resume to fit the role you are applying for.
  • For anyone applying to a role. No matter how many years of experience you have, make sure your CV details and reflects exactly the requirements that are being asked for.
  • If you have the experience but don’t include it, you might miss out on an opportunity.
  • Always have a copy of your CV in a WORD document AND a PDF document. At Stafford Lawrence Ltd we send your CV to our clients with a front cover sheet, so that we can provide additional information to our clients, and Highlight all your salient points, its much easier for us if the CV is a WORD Document.
  • Always provide the dates of your employment and account for any gaps in employment. A sabbatical, unemployment or study etc
  • AND NEVER write your CV in the third person!

Things to AVOID when writing a CV or Resume -CV Tips – Writing a CV

  • Avoid the use of several different colours on a CV / Resume. Remember you are not at kindergarten or nursery school and by all accounts, you should have stopped playing with coloured crayons a long time ago.
  • Try to stick to one font across your CV, changes in font can be distracting to the eye and off putting to the reader. You can use different font sizes to highlight job titles and underline and bold.
  • A Curriculum Vitae with all the colours of the rainbow is distracting, and a little odd to say the least. It is just NOT professional, keep your CV in one colour, or two if you really must.
  • Do not randomly highlight or underline words on your CV, even if they are keywords. A recruiter or hiring manager should know what to look out for on a CV, so you really dont have to do this for them. Again this can be very distracting.
  • Avoid the use of pictures and company logos or overly fussy graphs and templates. Some recruiters and clients use their own templates when sending your CV to their clients, so it is much easier to transfer a CV if you do not have these. Again the use of text boxes makes it really hard to transfer to a template.

CV Writing Tips – Project Information

In This CV Writing Tips blog we also talk about Project Information because this is very important when writing a CV for a Construction or Engineering role anywhere in the world.

We are often asked by our clients to recruit and hire for them, a construction or engineering professional with a certain skill or a particular project or sector background.

Clients don’t tend to engage the services of a recruiter for candidates that they can easily find themselves, so you can guarantee the requirements we get at Stafford Lawrence Ltd. are going to be tricky to find.

But what project information should you include on your CV/ Resume?

An Example:

We received the CV of an engineer for a Port project. Fantastic credentials, highly educated, vast experience, 20 years, alas, no ‘Large Port Project. Search as we might on the CV, there was no mention of any such project.

A less experienced recruiter would have put it to one side and moved on, but the CV smacked of quality and years of experience. We emailed the candidate, telling him that his CV was exceptional, if only he had Port project experience.

The reply was….. that he had Port experience! It was over ten years ago; he had been told only to put the first ten years of his work history on his CV.

There is a field of thought that you should only put the first 10 years of your experience on a CV, but for Senior level Engineering and Technical construction job vacancies, we prefer to see everything.  We can certainly assist you in structuring your CV for a specific role.

So, if a job role is asking for specific project information, don’t forget to include it.

What other things should I include when writing a CV?

  • Timeline of your work history- Please ensure you have your latest job role first. You should not be starting your professional CV with a job you worked as a junior or trainee engineer over 20 years ago.
  • Your name, but most importantly your contact detail. Your telephone number (  include your country code). Your address and your email address.
  • Your email address should also be professional. DO NOT use that funny email address that you concocted at school.
  • Qualifications: the date that you received your qualification, the place where you attained that qualification , detail if it was a full-time or part-time degree or distance learning.
  • Detail your work experience. The company, the dates you worked for them, the location and your position /title.
  • Under each employment, detail your duties and the projects you have worked on. Who you report to e.g the Director of Cost or the Director of Project Management etc. If you have the experience, you should also detail if you have had responsibility for a team/ staff and how many report to you.
  • You should also include any certifications or additional studies, or courses.
  • Include your interests and hobbies at the bottom of your CV. A Hiring manager likes to know that you have a life and interests outside of work.
  • Provide a paragraph or profile section at the beginning of your CV. This should give a very brief general overview of who you are and what you do.
    • Example 1. PROFILE  A Chartered MRICS Quantity Surveyor with 8 years post qualification experience in the UK. Sector experience covers Mixed Use and Commercial projects for Cost Consultancy organisations. I am seeking a new role to further my experience in the UK.
    • Example 2 PROFILE A Dynamic, focused, Quantity Surveyor with 15 years experience within the construction industry (UK and International), having worked with both Contractors and Consultancies. The past ten years working in Qatar on a wide range of diverse projects undertaking full commercial responsibilities of the projects.  Looking to secure a Senior Cost Manager position.


Just a little SAFETY tip on submitting CVs…. BE VERY CAREFUL when you are uploading your CV attachment, especially late at night when you might be tired… or perhaps at the end of the weekend when you might be a little tipsy..

Make sure it is your CV you are uploading ….. recently we have received Kitchen Fitting instructions, bathroom schematics and a whole host of random photographs from holidays and social events.

So….. if you dont want want that embarrasing photo or your private documents flying around the internet… make sure you double check first.

Fortunately we are made of strong stuff here at Stafford Lawrence Ltd. But even for us, some things are difficult to un-see 😂 Thank you to the gentleman who sent us pictures of his rocky horror show night, it was enlightening !….

CV submission for a Middle East Role- Middle East Construction Recruitment 

  • Please detail in your CV
    • The dates of your qualifications, your Degree Qualification along with the university you attained your Degree Qualification.
    • If you are chartered, the date of the award, the country awarding, as well as your membership number
    • Any other qualifications, please also include dates and Education provider
    • Your Date of birth and Nationality ( please state if you hold dual nationality). Please note the retirement ages in the Middle East. It is becoming increasingly difficult to provide visas now for candidates over the age of 60
    • A photograph. Preference for a photograph which shows you in a professional capacity, rather than a social setting.
    • Details of your work experience, with timeline, title and description of role and responsibilities. Please detail who you reported to and how many staff you were responsible for.
    • For Senior job vacancies, detail whether you have experience in full P&L Management, staff oversight, and delivery of projects.
    • Your vaccination status. It’s always good to include this as some countries do still request this
    • Include full detail of your project experience, relevant to the role you are applying for. If a role requests experience in the design of Dams, then detail your design of dams. Sadly we receive too many applications from candidates who do not meet the listed requirements of a role.

Follow us for up-to-date vacancies and information on our Stafford Lawrence Linkedin Page. All our social media links can be found on our home page.

Find out how Stafford Lawrence Ltd finds work for Construction & Engineering Candidates and how we work with our candidates and clients to secure you a job vacancy.

Our UK Middle East, USA and NZ job vacancy pages- UK & International Construction Recruitment Agency

UK Jobs for Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers

Middle East jobs for Quantity Surveyors Project Managers and Engineers

Would you like more information on Mental Health Initiatives in the Construction Industry? Please read our blog page on how you can help yourself and others. We understand, It can be stressful when applying for job vacancies too.