Top CV tips

Your CV is likely to be the first thing a prospective employer will see about you – and if they don’t like what they see, it’ll be the last.

Ensuring your CV is good enough to pass muster is vital in any job hunt, so it’s worth spending some quality time on.

Here are our top five CV tips to help make your CV stand out from the pile, in the best possible way.

Get to the point

Imagine that the person reading your CV is sitting among mountains of other CVs and has mere minutes to scan yours. Keeping your CV sharp and to the point is super important, as is having key information near the beginning.

  • Try to keep it down to two pages maximum. Nobody has time for more than that. Include:

    • Contact details

    • Personal statement

    • Education and qualifications

    • Work experience (including volunteer roles)

    • Referees (either state ‘available on request’ or put in contact details)

    • Interests

  • Be succinct, but don’t leave roles or achievements out to save space. Just think “summarise”.

  • Use clear, sharp language. There’s no room for fluffy decorative words in a CV.

  • Bullet points are your friend. Long, detailed paragraphs are not.

Elaborate when necessary

While trying to keep it brief, it’s still important to include vital details that will really sell you, and go beyond stating the obvious facts. Like what?

  • Key achievements such as meeting or exceeding targets or the reason for awards.

  • Industry-specific qualifications outside of your schooling/degree.

  • Promote how you made your role a success by giving examples.

  • Projects you initiated or led to success.

  • Examples of how you successfully used key skills. For instance, how were you an effective communicator/leader/manager, what was the outcome of a pressured situation?

Go back to basics

Given that you’re trying to summarise almost your entire life, it’s easy to get bogged down in the detail when preparing – or updating – your CV. Ensure you leave enough time before submitting to check the basic, but vital, information is present and correct. Nothing says “bad employee” like one who can’t get their own phone number right. Include:

  • Contact details including phone number and email address.

  • A URL link to any online profiles – such as your Job Profile. Ensuring they’re totally up to date, of course.

  • Referee contact details - check they haven’t changed their phone numbers.

  • Explanations for any gaps. For instance, explain that year you took out travelling.

Use basic fonts and a clean format. Check for spelling mistakes. Then check again, ask your best friend and your mum to check as well, and check one last time.

Get help

To make sure your CV is the best it can be, there’s nothing wrong with getting a bit of assistance. Our online Job Profile allows you to generate and upload a CV using the information contained in your profile.