CV Writing Advice

Creating a great CV can be a tricky task, here is some important CV writing advice that we as recruiters have built up over the years.

Employers and recruiters can receive 100’s of CVs for one vacancy so the amount of time an employer can spend reading a single CV is very limited.  This means it is very easy to miss an essential detail if you don’t make the important information clear and easy to see.

In order to attract the attention of the reader, it is important to make it very clear what you have done and what you are capable of. You would be surprised at the amount of information that job hunters miss off their CV because of not checking or hoping that the reader will get the gist of what they have done.

With this in mind as a job seeker looking for work you may find these simple rules helpful:

 

Read the job advert closely

Read the advert or job spec closely and tailor your CV to the vacancy. Make sure that the keywords and experience that the employer is looking for feature prominently on your CV

 

Don’t assume

Do not assume that the person you are sending your CV to has any idea about your area of expertise. If human resources or a recruiter is reviewing your CV first they may not understand your specific skill set if it is very niche (unless you use CK Technical). This is why it is important that your CV is tailored to the job spec and advert. Make it very obvious to the reader what you have done, when you did it and where.

 

Correct contact details

Make your contact details obvious and easy to see. What is the point in being clearly the best candidate for a job if the people trying to ask you to come in for an interview cannot find your contact details? This should be on the first page of your CV at the top, not hiding in a footer at the bottom of the last page. Also double check they are correct, the amount of people who miss a digit off a phone number is quite impressive.

 

Use the opening summary effectively

Use this summary as an opportunity to say what your skills are and how you match the job description. Don’t waste space on your hobbies in this section, use this to highlight your skill set.

 

Experience in reverse chronological order

Try to make sure that your current role or details of what you are doing now are on the first page. Put your other experience on your CV in reverse chronological order. If the employer can see what you are doing right now, it makes it easier for them to see if you have the right experience and if it was practised recently.

 

Use buzzwords

To attract the attention of the reader immediately you need to use the right buzzwords that truthfully match the job advert. Most recruiters and employers are searching for CVs that match certain techniques, standards, skills, competencies, and experience. Be sure to use these buzzwords in the cover email, summary and work experience.

 

Keep irrelevant information to a minimum

If you are going for a senior management position make sure that you are drawing attention to your relevant skills and experience. What you did when you were first starting out in your career may no longer be relevant

 

Plenty of white space

Make sure that there is plenty of open space in your CV – A CV that is very wordy can seem overwhelming to the reader so make sure that you do not send them dizzy with a mass of words. It may sound strange but a CV that is easy on the eye is more appealing to the reader. It also makes it easier to pick out the relevant information. The use of bullet points and bolding relevant titles can keep wordy CVs at bay.

 

Do not repeat yourself

Telling the reader about the same job in different sections of your CV three times make it look like you are padding and that you do not have much to say.

 

Spell check and proofread

Remember that your CV is the first thing an employer will see from you so if it’s full of spelling errors and mistakes then you are likely to be passed over. Get that friend that can always spot mistakes to read your CV before you send it anywhere. Alternatively, ask your CK consultant to read it over for you. You will be pleased to have them when they spot that you have nearly told a potential employer that you have “God attention to detail”. Not even your spell checker will have picked that one up.

 

Take a look at our other CV advice tips here

Revitalise your CV

How to write an email cover letter

The 30 second CV test

Interview tips

Back to the CV advice area

Managing multiple job offers