Make your CV shine – tips to help you stand out
Your CV is your personal shop window. It outlines your education, highlights your experience and champions your achievements. It should succinctly explain to a prospective employer how you can add value to their organisation.
Through our extensive experience in recruiting, we have seen some outstanding CVs and some mediocre ones. We’ve produced a CV template to download for you to use should you need one.
Here are our tips for writing a killer CV:
- Writing a good CV takes time. You will not be able to knock one up in an hour. Your potential career depends upon it; give it the time it deserves.
- Ensure it’s relevant to EACH job you are applying for. Research the company(ies) you’re applying to; highlight where your values align with theirs. Request a role profile and outline where you can demonstrate each of the skills and competencies required.
- The top 30% of page one ought to be high-impact and attention grabbing. It should contain a short personal profile and bulleted recent achievements and key skills. Make them relevant to each role (see point above).
- Ideally CVs should be two pages, three at a push. No more. Don’t try to cheat by using font size 8.
- Make the most of the space by minimising the amount of personal contact information. Name, telephone number, email address, home address.
- Absolutely NO PHOTOS.
- Give detail on your last 4 – 5 employed positions, working backwards from your most recent. Include company, duration and job title. Provide bulleted details of your responsibilities and achievements for each position. Any positions thereafter should be listed with no detail (to save space). Explain all career gaps.
- Include examples of your skills and achievements wherever possible. Rather than suggesting you have “exceptional communication skills”, give context; “Leading a team of 6 customer service representatives has enabled me to build excellent coaching skills with colleagues”.
- List your academic and professional qualifications, starting with the most recent first. More experienced candidates need only summarise education.
- Include your interests – recruiting firms want an insight into your personality and make sure you focus on any interests that provide an additional set of experience – sporting achievements, clubs or societies, charity work and so on.
- Spelling and grammar. Don’t just rely on spellchecker; ask a friend or family member to proof read. Know the difference between there/their/they’re, your/you’re etc. Attention to detail is key - slapdash mistakes on your CV will have you out of the running faster than a Usain Bolt 100m.
Once you've written your CV, upload it to our website here to see how we might help you achieve your career goals.
And look out for future updates from us as we'll be producing guides on interview preparation and technique.
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