How to craft the perfect CV

Published: 28 Apr 2015

When advertising a new vacancy, recruiters may receive hundreds of CV’s from candidates looking to apply, so what can you do to make sure you stand out from the crowd?

What to include in your CV?

Contact details

Be sure to include your name, recent address, email address and phone number with your CV. It may seem common sense, but can also be easily forgotten!

Personal Statement

It is good to include a short paragraph within your CV to sell yourself to the employer. This should be alongside your covering letter and can include a few points as to why you think you are suitable for the role. This can also make your CV look tailored or purposefully written for the role you are applying to – a perfect way to show you’re a serious candidate.

Key Achievements and Skills

List your main skills alongside your key achievements so far in your career. Did you get a promotion for your outstanding hard work, or regularly smash sales targets? Be creative and sell yourself on your unique achievements – it’s ok to brag about yourself in this section!

Employment History

Include a list of your past jobs including your various roles and your responsibilities. If you are a more mature job seeker, or have a long list of previous employers, stick to just including your most recent employers.

Education & Qualifications

Your new employer will not necessarily want details of your school swimming award or of what Primary School you attended. It’s good to just include details of Qualifications and Education history that will be relevant to the job you are applying. Are they looking for someone with a degree or someone with a special industry relevant qualification? Or, do you actually need a certain qualification or education/experience in order to do the job? If so, it is appropriate to include details of these in your CV.


Layout and format:

Make sure your CV is no longer than 2 pages

As i mentioned earlier in this article, recruiters may receive huge numbers of CV’s when advertising a job vacancy and they won’t have the time to read through 10 pages of your information – no matter how interesting your CV may be. It’s a good idea to restrict the length of your CV to just 2 pages (2 side of A4).

Leave no gaps in work history

Gaps in work history can leave a recruiter suspicious and honesty is usually the best policy when disclosing your work history. Nearly anything can be jazzed up with a bit of creativity, even those 8 months you spent unemployed after being made redundant. You could have spent those 8 months with your children and therefore worked heavily on your communication skills, negotiation skills, and team building. Some things may need rephrasing, but it may be unique experience that you gained being out of work actually impress your potential employer!

Deliver your CV in a presentable format

Hardly anyone likes reading pages upon pages of paragraph heavy text, and CV’s written like this can sometimes put the employer off so much they may just chuck it straight in the bin without even reading it. Therefore it’s a good idea to present the information in your CV into easily digestible chunks and sections. This can mean separating each of the sections of your CV with headings, sub headings, and short bullet points so it easy to quickly scan through your CV and pick out relevant information.

CV Structure Example

  • Personal Information
  • Personal Statement (if you choose to include one)
  • Achievements & Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Qualifications and Education
  • References and Client Endorsements (if you choose to include them)


Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s:

Spelling mistakes and grammar

Please oh please of PLEASE check your CV for spelling mistakes and correct grammar! There is nothing more off putting for employers to receive a CV riddled with spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar.

Be positive

Remember the purpose of your CV – to sell yourself and your skills to a potential employer. Employers don’t want to read CV’s full of negativity and all the things you can’t do, or how you are still angry at your ex boss for laying you off. Be creative and put a positive spin on it all including all the good things about you and all the things you CAN do.

Write for simplicity

It may seem fancy to fill your CV full of complex words and industry jargon, but it may backfire if it causes your employer to not understand anything you have written...

Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for

Pretty self explanatory. Tailoring your CV to the role you’re applying for (only including information relevant for the role you’re applying for, and relating how you’re skills make you best suitable for that specific job) can make you’re CV stand out from the pack. A great number of job seekers simply send the same CV out to a number of jobs, and employer’s can tell. Make yourself look serious and professional by tailoring.

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