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What makes a good CV?

Posted on 6/01/2017 by Lee Hiskett

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When it comes to selling yourself there's nothing better than having a nicely crafted CV to set the expectation and leave any potential employer wanting more, but what exactly can you do to set yourself apart from the rest?

Make it easy to read

When you look through hundreds of CV's per day there is nothing more likely to get your CV fast tracked into the 'No' pile than an impossible to read CV.

Whether you are submitting your CV direct to an employer or via a recruitment company if you have turned your CV into an unwieldy behemoth then it's time to simplify immediately. A clear logical structure is best presenting your skills and experience in an uncluttered easy to read format.

Break up paragraphs that are too long, use bullet points if you have multiple items you want to make the reader aware of. Using the same font and font size is also important. You can use different fonts and sizes for headings and another for the main bodies of text but keep this uniform. If you copy paste from another, older CV then format the added text to match.

Keep the length sensible

Whilst you have a lot to say, after all you are selling yourself and want to do the best job of it, you also need to keep the reader focused on the essentials. Your potential employer is only really interested in your last 2 or 3 roles so writing half a page about a job you had 15 years ago, will not be of interest.

If there is something in that role you feel is essential to this e.g. you helped save the company 5% of ordering costs by ....... put this somewhere more pertinent like in an achievements section. You can talk about this in more detail at interview, after having given your potential new employer something to wet their whistle.

Job specific

When talking about projects or prior achievements in previous roles, make sure the points you want to raise reflects the role you are currently applying for. Matching these skills and achievements directly to the new role competencies shows you have actively focused on what they are looking for rather than just holding your hand up to say 'will I do?'

Evidence

Anyone can be 'a team player' or 'results driven' but you will get much better results by showing your potential new employer how you helped your old employer overcome those same challenges they are currently facing. If you can provide specifics and solid figures even better.

Error Free

Nothing says a lack of professional pride like a CV riddled with errors. Spelling mistakes, bad grammar and poor formatting just screams 'No' to any recruiter or potential employer. If you simply cannot be bothered with a good first impression, then why are you the one they should choose? It sounds harsh but it's true.

If you do not show them the best you how can they know just by reading your CV? Not everyone is great at English but with some help from friends, family and/or spell checkers you will be able to put your best foot forward.


Have a chat with us today to discuss how we can help you get your dream role and what we can do for you to make your CV shine!