CV Writing

First impressions count and a well written CV will pave the way to your job-hunting success. Below are a few hints and tips to help you get your CV shining and achieve that all important job interview!

First things first…

Your CV should be clear and structured. It is probably the first interaction with an employer that you will have. Try to structure your CV with relevant information and key details an employer will need, to consider you for the job. Be sure to include the following and try to make it flow:

  • Your name and contact details
  • A brief personal profile
  • Skills and experience
  • Work history
  • Education, qualifications and any achievements
  • Any interests and hobbies (optional)
  • Two references (ideally both professional references)

Attention to detail

You are creating a document to sell yourself to an employer, good presentation and attention to detail are vital in giving you the best chance to succeed. Common mistakes include using different font types, sizes and neon colours throughout a CV. Other errors such as spelling mistakes, incorrect capitalisation and punctuation can all contribute towards a CV being overlooked, regardless of your skills and experience.

Use a spellchecker or have a friend, family member or colleague check over the document for spelling mistakes and poor grammar/punctuation. There is no right or wrong font type, size or colour to use, however we would suggest keeping your CV professional and using Calibri, Arial or similar fonts. Try not to use too many different colours but consider changing things like section headers to a set colour, different from the main text, to give your CV some life.

CV length

A good CV can vary in length, depending on factors including the seniority of the role you are applying for, your age (more work history) and for technical positions. As a general rule we would suggest that you try to keep your CV to a maximum of two to three pages, so that prospective employers are not overwhelmed by the amount of information included.

If you have an extensive work history, it may be worth only including your last three to five roles on your CV. Keep the information you do include concise and utilise bullet points where you can to give only relevant information.

Tailor your CV

It’s great to have a generic CV to send out to multiple employers but this doesn’t always work and to get the best results from your job application, you should tailor your CV for each role that you are applying for.

Use the Job Description document provided to pick out key skills, experience and other information which is relevant to the job and use this to tailor your CV. For example, if a role requires effective communication skills then you could include your experience of presenting team briefings or chairing staff meetings.

Sell yourself

When writing a CV you need to remember that this is your chance to sell yourself and you should use language that strikes confidence in an employer, words such as ‘achieved’, ‘decisive’ and ‘revolutionised’ can help to emphasise your skills and experience and really drive the point home.

If you have surpassed your targets or been recognised for going the extra-mile, be sure to include this information in your CV but never, ever, ever fabricate details or lie on your CV as nine times out of 10 an employer or recruiter will drill down on this information and if you are found to have bent the truth then your credibility will be lost in an instant and so will the job prospect.

Have references available

If you can provide two professional references on your CV make sure you include them. It’s always a good idea to inform the referee or get permission to include their details first but having visible references will give confidence to the employer and may speed up the application process later down the line. If you can’t include the details of your referee’s, then you can always add that references are available upon request.

Hopefully the above support can help to create a fantastic CV but if you are still struggling, why not download our template CV to kick start your progress or feel free to contact our consultants for further advice.

Need some help?

Have you found the perfect job, but need some help with your CV or the other guidance? Why not take a look at the links below to see what useful hints, tips and guides we can offer to support your application.