CV Writing Advice
First impressions last, and your CV is responsible for creating that vital good first impression with a potential employer or recruiter.
A busy recruiter can see up to a hundred CVs in a day, so make sure yours is not lost in the pile but instead gets noticed. Here's how.
Formatting and Language
- Choose an attractive yet simple style: avoid graphics and boxes and get the fonts right
- Arial and Calibri are good choices in our view but just choose one that is clear
- Bullet points make your CV easy to read and allow the reader to digest lots of information very quickly.
- Long rambling sentences do just the opposite.
- Use CV grammar: not necessarily sentences and paragraphs, think in terms of a concise report.
- Avoid the use of 'we' and 'our' - instead, try to think like a journalist.
- However, be clear on what you achieved and what you personally contributed.
- Prioritise information so that what's most important catches the eye first.
- Open with a brief sketch that positions you at the right level.
- Include interesting information pertinent to the type of position required.
- Describe most recent jobs first.
- Corroborate claims with evidence - include enough to appear convincing and professional.
- Look to build a story of your career in which the strongest experience takes priority.
- Early/minor roles from years ago have little relevance.
Tweak and Test
- Test your CV: spell check thoroughly and try the CV out on friends and partners.
- There is no room for error.
- Remember this is your sales tool so invest the time to get it right.
- It is no good knowing that you are good!
- If the employer cannot see it on paper, you will never get the chance to meet them!
Further CV Resources
More information on how to make your CV and covering letter stand out when applying for a particular role. Customisation is the key!
A list of the most common spelling mistakes to avoid.
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