Whether you’re tired of not making the shortlist or you’re new to the job market altogether – Our expert recruitment team have compiled the perfect step by step guide to ensure your skills stand out on paper.
Presentation is key. Your CV is likely to be the first point of contact between you and any potential employer, so creating a CV that is easy and pleasant to read will help to leave a good impression.
Use short paragraphs and bullet pointed lists to communicate your skills and experience. Recruiters are inundated with CVs, so by making it easy for them to scan through and extract key pieces of information you will increase your chances of securing an interview.
It is also important to choose suitable and consistent font styles and sizes such as Arial or Calibri and keep font size around 10pt or 11pt to give your CV a more professional look. Avoid decorative or script fonts at all costs as they can be quite untidy looking and difficult to read
2. Opening Summary
An opening summary is an excellent way to communicate your key skills, experience, achievements and motivations to a potential employer. This overview will set the tone for the rest of your CV, providing the recruiter with a good foundation of knowledge to assess your suitability for the role.
A short paragraph, no more than 4 lines long will do the trick.
3. Writing Style
Your CV should be written in a clear and concise manor, using professional language and industry terminology where appropriate – If there’s one thing any recruiter dreads, it’s sifting through a CV full of waffle and jargon in search of substantiated skills and experience. So, keep it simple and to the point.
Your CV should always be written in the first-person. This will add more impact to your writing and help to emphasise your individual contribution in previous roles.
4. Tailored Content
No matter how similar any two job roles are, each employer will be looking for different key skills, values and experience in their candidates – So it’s important to tailor your CV to focus on what each specific employer is looking for.
This is your chance to show the recruiter that you have researched the company and role by presenting them with a CV that shows how well you match up to the job specification and company culture – This step of CV writing is critical in helping you stand out from other candidates.
5. Focus On Results
You may have been responsible for a variety of tasks in your previous role, but simply listing your duties won’t give a recruiter any indication of your level of ability.
Think of your CV as a sales tool, this is your opportunity to convince the employer that you’re good enough to be invited to interview. So, it’s important to focus on key achievements that are relevant to the role you are applying for – Highlight these using action words and substantiate with figures to emphasise your contribution if applicable.
As a rule of thumb, your CV should be no longer than 2 A4 pages. This means ditching the long list of GCSE subject and grades and any employment history that has no relevance to the role.
The key to whittling your CV down is to use your common sense and ask yourself ‘Will this piece of information increase my chances of securing an interview’ before including it.
7. Sense Check
This is the final and arguably the most important stage of CV writing, as it assesses your attention to detail. The smallest spelling mistake can create the perfect excuse for a recruiter to fast track you straight into the no pile – So, here are the key things to look out for when sense checking your CV.
Spelling and Grammar
It’s always easier to spot mistakes in someone else’s work. Ask a family member or friend to read your CV and check for any errors that you may have missed.
Have you included contact information? Is it accurate? Sending out a CV is a pointless exercise if a recruiter has no way of getting in touch.
Our first CV tip was to provide a well-presented CV – now its time to double check that all font styles, sizes and text alignment are consistent.
Lastly, it’s important to check that all information provided is accurate – telling white lies on your CV won’t do you any favours when it comes to doing the job.