How to write a great CV

How to write a great CV

Writing a cv can be a little daunting for some, but as it’s the first impression a recruiter or employer will have of you, it’s important that you write a cv which will really showcase your skills and experience. Although you’ll want to write a list of your key responsibilities, try when you can, to add achievements and highlight how your role has a positive impact for your company.

I’ve seen thousands of cv’s throughout my career, some absolute horrors, and some truly outstanding ones. Here’s a secret… there isn’t a one size fits all perfect cv! You can individualise your cv, add a little personality and if you’re targeting a creative job, add a bit of creativity into your cv.

However, below you’ll find a guide on how to structure your cv along with a few hints and tips.

The structure

  1. Your contact details – Name, address (and where you’re happy to relocate to), email address, telephone number and any links to your LinkedIn page.
  2. Personal statement. Writing about yourself can often feel a bit strange, however a strong personal statement will be a great opener on your cv. Imagine this is your elevator pitch, and you have one paragraph to sum up and highlight your experience.
  3. Education – Highlight your qualifications and where they were obtained. You do not need to add in dates if you don’t want to.
  4. Work history – This is probably the most important part of your cv. Don’t undersell your experience, but don’t overload this section either. Add factual information, use statistics and figures to back up your achievements and don’t add in responsibilities that a potential employer would assume you undertook anyway.
  5. Other information – here add anything else you feel is important. Languages are always great to add to your cv.
  6. Hobbies and interests – Let the person reading your cv understand a little more about you outside of work. Often these are good ice-breakers in an interview and capture their interest.

Tips!

  • Although you’ll hear that you must keep your cv to a maximum of 2 pages, I personally think this is a very ‘old school’ rule. I wouldn’t recommend making it 10 pages however, but 3 or 4 pages is very acceptable these days.
  • If your cv is longer than 2 pages, try using a smaller more compact font, as well as selecting the narrow margin option for your word document. This gives you a bit more room to write about your experience without making your cv stretch across another page or two.
  • Don’t be afraid to really sell yourself! Write down your achievements, things you’re most proud of or what skills you can bring to your next employer.
  • Start with your most recent employer at the top of your cv and work backwards
  • Try to keep your information relevant for the job that you’re applying for. You can have more than 1 cv if needed, each one tailored to align better with the vacancy.
  • Make sure all of your contact details are up to date. Email and telephone numbers will be the initial methods for a recruiter to get in touch.
  • On that note, please make sure that your email address is professional 😊 Some Employers would automatically decline an application if your email address was offensive or inappropriate.
  • Try to explain any gaps in your cv as these will be discussed further on a telephone or face to face interview.
  • Do not use too many abbreviations or acronyms – try and write your cv as if the person reading your cv has never done your job before.
  • Use a standard/professional font for your cv and keep it simple, consistent and easy to read. Please use your spellcheck!! Your cv gives an insight into your work ability, so if you’re not spending the time to check your cv, and Employer or Recruiter would make the assumption that you wouldn’t check your work either.

By investing the time and effort into writing a good cv, you’ll open doors to securing your next role. We have a cv template available for you to use as a starting block, so please feel free to contact us and we’ll happily email it over to you.

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