Back to Basics: Where to start with creating a CV that employers will want to read

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

Ensuring your CV looks professional & up to date is essential when applying for that job. Ensure your CV stands out from the crowd by laying yours out using the key points below

Personal Details: Name, email, phone number, LinkedIn profile if you use it (Nothing else. No age, date of birth, marital status etc)

Top Tip: Make sure your email address is professional or at least neutral.

Consider giving yourself a title and tagline ie Business Development Manager. This is not advisable in all industries but works well in corporate roles and can help you to get through recruiters Applicant Tracking Systems.

Personal Profile: That tells the recruiter what you have done. This should be tailored to the job spec you are using it to apply for. It's usually around 5 lines long.

Key Skills/Competencies: Bullet point these and keep them industry specific. Avoid good timekeeping, good at working as part of a team and good at working on my own/other generic skills. 

Key Successes/Achievements: These should be quantifiable where possible and show results. What changed as a result of you being there? If you are thinking about putting something in, think 'so what' to think of where it led or what it resulted in. 

Examples - Reduced sickness levels from 5% to 0.5% within the first three months in post.

Implemented new HR system saving 1 hour onboarding time per new staff member

Employment History: This should be in reverse chronological order so show your most recent job first. Quantify when you can and highlight key successes and achievements, rather than simply listing responsibilities.

Top Tip: If your previous roles don’t relate to what you are currently looking for, clump them together to highlight that you were working during this time ie  

Prior to this, held various roles in retail and worked as a holiday rep and team leader overseas. Excelled at motivating teams and achieving targets in my management roles. My overseas roles involved having excellent relationships with suppliers and customers alike, and in presenting to groups daily.

Don’t feel you have to include EVERY thing you’ve ever done. Lots of agency or unrelated work can all be clumped together as above.

You only need to go back 10 - 15 years or around 6 jobs unless specifically asked for a full checkable history for jobs which need security clearance.

Education and Training: Should include industry specific training and university and higher level qualifications. If you don't have these, the name of your school and 'Educated to Higher Level' or whatever applies is all you need.

Interests: Only include if they are interesting! Or demonstrate high levels of dedication or prowess. General Tips: Keep it to no more than 2/2.5 pages (unless it’s an academic CV which should NOT follow this template)

Make sure the spacing, layout, font and size are the same throughout. Arial/Calibri 11 are easy to read.

Check and double check spelling (if this is not your thing, get someone else to read it)

If you’ve job hopped, clump similar types of roles together as above.

If you haven’t got much work history, discuss school/college/university projects and any teams/groups you were in and what you achieved there.

Avoid making it too chatty and the use of I where possible. 

Avoid negativity.

There is no one gold standard for CV's but this is a good place to start. If you need help with this, I can create a CV tailored to different roles or industries for £150. You can book a time slot here and you'll be sent details of what I need to get you started.

13 views0 comments