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I was writing my CV but wasn't sure if this makes sense:

At my old place of work I adapted to the new work very quickly (I had never done pub work before).

Does the "I had never done pub work before" make grammatical sense?

If not then why?

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Yes. It's the past perfect. "I adapted" is simple past tense, and "I had never done" is correctly past perfect because it's referring to further back in the past than when you adapted. – TrevorD Jul 29 '13 at 18:55
@TrevorD Why not an answer? – bib Jul 29 '13 at 19:27
Have now posted my earlier comment as an answer. – TrevorD Jul 29 '13 at 22:14
I suggest you re-word your sentence as follows: "At my former job, having never done pub work before, I adapted to it very quickly." – rhetorician Jul 29 '13 at 23:41
I believe that 'the licensed trade' will sound eminently better than 'pub work'. – Qube Jul 30 '13 at 6:41

Yes, what you have written is perfectly OK.

At my old place of work I adapted to the new work very quickly. (I had never done pub work before.)

"... I adapted to the new work ..." is the simple past tense, describing the more recent event.
"I had never done ..." is correctly the past perfect tense, because you are referring to further back in the past than when you "adapted to the new work".

The only word I might change is to replace "before" by "previously". You are referring to before you "adapted to the new work". Personally, I think "previously" sounds more succinct in this context, whereas "before" possibly leaves the sentence hanging, wondering before what?

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I had defended my fellow citizens from the intruders. I had done my country proud.

Completely valid.

However, in a CV I would avoid such basic language. You want to impress your employer with a lot of buzzwords that show how you overcame the problem, not whine about how inexperienced you were. For example, instead of saying this:

I had not done pub work before.

... write this instead:

I quickly came up to speed with the business and customer service responsibilities required to run a successful sports club.

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Thanks for the heads up. – ODP Jul 30 '13 at 12:23

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