CV advice

Make your CV stand out with our tips and advice on how to write a great CV that will impress potential new employers!

As recruitment specialists we fully understand the importance of a good CV, from what you write to how you present it, it all comes together to reflect you as a worker and a person. Ultimately, a tailored and professional CV is paramount to getting a job.

Before sending your CV off have a quick look through the our CV tips. Some of these tips are common sense, while others a little less obvious but in no way less important.

Top tips for writing a CV

Always write a new CV from scratch rather than updating an old one. The risk of merely updating an old one is that you leave information on there that is no longer relevant.

Personal details

  1. Your name
  2. Address including postcode
  3. All contact details i.e. email, mobile, home telephone numbers

Education – Put your most recent education in first

  1. Degree courses, University/College first with qualifications
  2. Any further courses that you have completed including any NVQ courses
  3. Secondary School and higher education

All the above should include dates, the name of your university/college/school, subjects, grades and qualifications

Key Achievements

Include your main achievements from each job. For example, if you improved anything, delivered a project within a certain timescale, coached or developed anyone, introduced anything new (technology, training, staff rotas) or increased revenue stating revenue increase from £pounds to £pounds or % of margin increase/growth.

Employment

Present in reverse chronological order – i.e. your most recent position listed first.
Give details of the companies you have worked for with the titles of the positions you held and dates you worked. Duties, responsibilities, and tasks should be listed in bullet points.

If you have taken a year out or indeed a few months to go travelling, put it down. A gap on a CV only raises eyebrows.​​​​

Before you send it to anyone, make sure a friend or relative has read it for you. They will then be able to offer constructive advice, while also checking for any errors. Remember a great well presented CV can be the difference between getting an interview and being overlooked.

Remember that employers are most interested in the last three to seven years of your experience, so write more about those jobs.

Interests

Include your interests but also think about the role you are applying for, if it is a weekend role, we would not suggest writing every Saturday I do a sporting activity.

Tailor each CV

Remember to tailor your CV to the needs of each individual employer

Strong candidates will change words and phrases on every single CV they send out in order to make each employer sit up and take notice.

Speak the employer’s language

Paraphrase the key words and phrases that the employer uses on the job description. For example, if the employer talks about wanting people with “leadership and charisma”, it makes good sense to use that exact phrase rather than talking about something you think is similar like “management and presence”.

Sell yourself

Remember that a CV is a sales document. Put on it only the information that will sell you to the employer.

Last but not least… Keep it simple

  • Keep your CV plain and simple
  • Print it on plain white paper
  • Have sensible margins and use a readable font
  • Don’t try to reduce the margins or use a smaller font to squeeze more information on your CV – It is not easy to read and can look messy and some employers may think you are unable to prioritise what’s important!
  • And of course your CV can be more than 2 pages, especially if you have a wealth of relevant experience to share.