Top tips for writing a great CV

5 top tips for building an impactful CV:

  • Recruiters spend an average of around 6 seconds to vet a CV which is why it is important to create a document that is engaging, targeted and sells you as an individual!  While there is no “right” or “wrong” way to write your CV, there are general principles you should follow to give you the best possible chance of success in your job search. Developing a different CV for every job you apply for will ensure you demonstrate your match to the specific requirements of each respective role.
  • Consider your approach – Think and plan your CV before you begin. Consider the role you are applying for and use the job description and person specification to gain an understanding of the skills and personal attributes the company are looking for.  This will enable you to begin crafting a document that is targeted and aligned with the role.
  • Hook your audience in from the start – Always include a concise and succinct Personal Profile at the beginning of your CV.  This should convey your relevance to the role and highlight the value that you can bring to the organisation, therefore spiking their interest and enabling you to stand out for the crowd. Ensure that it is a short, dynamic, and engaging paragraph rather than a long rambling statement.  Don’t forget that your CV will be the first point of contact with your audience so it should quickly identify and sell your key capabilities.
  • Identify your key skills – Include a key skills section that highlights your relevant skills that align with the role. Consider the role profile and the language that it uses and then replicate this on your CV.  For example, if they are asking for someone who can collaborate with external stakeholders, then mention ‘collaboration’ in your key skills section.  You can then go on to provide evidence to back up your skills in the main section of your CV.
  • Career experience and achievements – Outline your previous roles in reverse chronological order and demonstrate the link between what you’ve done in the past to the expectations outlined in the job description. Tell them what action you took, the skills you used and the value that you added to the organisation. If possible, quantify the results, for example “Drove down cost by £30,000 within the first quarter.” Don’t forget that this is your opportunity to showcase how your relevant experience makes you the perfect candidate.

Keep it simple – The chances are that your CV will be read by a digital ATS (Applicant Tracker System) at some point, so keep your layout and format simple.  Avoid using boxes, graphics, images or jazzy fonts and don’t include text in the headers and footers as these can cause problems when being read digitally and throw your CV out.  Use a basic text layout and choose a standard font such as Arial or Calibri.

Wishing you the best of luck!