LEVEL A1.2/A2.1





Do you know how to write a good CV in English? Here we have some advice:
Our personal data: name and surname, address, telephone number, date and place of birth (= when and where we were born), marital status (= if we are married or single) come first.
Employment (= companies you have worked for) comes before education (= schools you have finished). We write about current employment (= the company you work for now) first. We should write how long we have worked for the company and include our duties and successes.
We should use action verbs like: to supervise (= to be in charge of a group of people), to achieve (= you use it to talk about success when you have it), to obtain (= formal, to get).
Then we write about previous employment (= companies you worked for in the past) in a similar way. Finally, you write about other experience like languages and computer skills. You can also write about your hobbies, but using expressions like „I’m mad about traveling” is not such a good idea. Keep your CV as simple as possible.
If at the end you write that „personal and professional references provided on request„, you must have special documents from your previous employers with information how good of an employee you were, just in case somebody asks you for them at the interview.



More contexts for the new words:

Be careful not to confuse the words marital and martial:

Marital means ‘connected with marriage’:

  • Could I ask you about your marital status? (= if you’re married or not)
  • They’ve been having marital problems, apparently.

Martial means ‘connected with soldiers or war’:

  • Martial arts are sports which are a traditional way of Japanese or Chinese fighting.
  • Martial law is the situation when the army takes control of a country. (= like in Poland in 1981)




In the cv below, complete each gap with one word.


Personal data

First name: Jan

(1) ……………… : Kowalski

(2) ……………… of birth: 21st August 1970

(3) ……………… of birth: Bydgoszcz, Poland

(4) ……………… status: single



(5) ……………… employment: ABC Company, Warsaw, marketing manager – 2008-now

– I (6) ……………… a team of people

– I have (7) ……………… a great success with my last campaign

– I have (8) ……………… a reward for the Best Employee of the Year

(9) ……………… employment: CDE Company, Bydgoszcz, marketing assistant – 2000-2008



(10) ……………… arts (judo and karate)




Put the words in order to make questions and then answer them yourself.


  1. status/ is/ What/ marital/ your?
  2. skills/ What/ your/ computer/ are?
  3. would you like/ to achieve/ What success?
  4. arts/ tried/ martial/ Have you ever?


„I am mad about traveling” is an expression which should not be in your CV, but is very useful to talk about things we like very much.

Other expressions with similar structure: an adjective + a preposition (in, on, at) include:

I am obsessed with sports.
I am fascinated by sports.

These two mean we really love something very much. We can also say:

I am fond of sports.
I am keen on sports.

and they mean we just like something.




A/ You’ve has the same position for 10 years? No promotion? What’s wrong with you?

B/ Nothing’s wrong with me. It’s just A DEAD-END JOB.


A dead-end job is a job in which there is no chance of being raised to a better, more important job. Very often secretarial and office jobs are dead-end jobs.




A cv is a formal text, so there shouldn’t be too many phrasal verbs in it. However, there are some phrasal verbs you can use to talk about your work experience in an informal way.

  1. If you GET AHEAD in your job, you are successful.

If you want to get ahead as a manager, you have to be prepared to work hard.


  1. If you TAKE ON responsibility, you accept responsibility.

She took on a lot of responsibility, and so she had to work long hours.


  1. If you HAND OVER to someone, you give responsibility to another person.

I’m 60 now. I want to retire and hand over to a younger person.






Complete each gap with one word.

  1. Being a teacher is often a dead-……………………. job, with no chances for promotion.
  2. She goes to a fitness club every day, She is obsessed ……………………. sports.
  3. I work really long hours because I want to get ……………………. in my job.
  4. I am really fond ……………………. cats. I have three at home.






A man was arrested yesterday, after attempting to commit a cv fraud. Mark Brown, former boss of Funky Airlines, included a lot of false information in his resume. His prospective employers got suspicious when he claimed to have 20 years of experience working in managerial positions. Mark Brown is only 30 years old!




to attempt – to try

to commit – to do something bad, e.g. a crime

a fraud – cheating, a lie

former – previous

resume – cv

suspicious – not trusting

to claim – to say that something is true



download lesson (pdf)





  1. Surname
  2. Date
  3. Place
  4. Marital
  5. Current
  6. Supervise
  7. Achieved
  8. obtained
  9. previous
  10. martial



  1. What is your marital status?
  2. What are your computer skills?
  3. What success would you like to achieve?
  4. Have you ever tried martial arts?



  1. end
  2. with
  3. ahead
  4. of