Top 10 Ways to Improve your CV

Your CV portrays the first impression an employer will make of you and, on many occasions, it is what they will solely base their decision on regarding whether you will proceed to the next stage.

Portraying yourself in a manner that will catch a recruiter’s eye can be a daunting task. You want to illustrate your experience, skills and achievement while also giving them a sense of you as a person.

To help you depict yourself in the best way possible we have gathered our Top Ten Tips for writing your CV from one of our top recruiters.

1. Keep your CV up to date

Ensure your current contact details are noted within.  Make sure you have included your most recent roles and responsibilities. Start your CV with your most recent role to ensure it receives immediate attention. Recruiters will look to what you have most recently accomplished first to see if you are experienced enough for the role, so your current accomplishments are important.

2. Don’t leave any gaps in your employment

As a recruiter looking at a CV with date gaps will raise questions regarding what you were doing during that time. If you want to highlight some of your past roles over others, then do so by including information on your achievements and skills gained in those roles but still include the roles you had in-between; even if it’s just the position and dates.

3. Ensure all the dates are correct

The duration you worked in particular roles gives the recruiter an idea of your experience. At the hiring stage they will double check these dates with your references and your LinkedIn profile so make sure you have them right.

4. Always tailor your CV to the position and company you are applying for

Every position will be looking for different experience and skills. Ensure you read the job description thoroughly and apply what the recruiter is looking for to your CV being mindful that you meet the essential criteria required for the role. Highlight the experiences and achievements that stand out for this opportunity.

5. Keep your CV to 2-3 pages maximum

Recruiters work on several open positions at the same time and may only have a few minutes to read through your CV.  Keep it concise and to the point.

6. Give your CV a clear structure

The most common mistake is a badly laid out CV. If information is difficult for a recruiter to follow it’ll give a bad impression from the offset. Structure your CV so it flows well and don’t cram too much information onto one page. For Graduates place your degree before your work experience as this is what employers will look for first.

7. Avoid spelling mistakes

When a CV has spelling mistakes, it gives the impression that the application was rushed or that the applicant was not interested enough to take the time to read through the CV before sending it. Make sure to proofread the document more than once and even give it to a friend to check for you.

8. Do not add your photo

Including a photo is going to create an immediate first impression on the recruiter that they won’t be able to ignore. Your CV should showcase your skills and achievements so put the focus on these instead.

9. Do not use company logos

A company’s logo adds little to your CV. You have already stated the company’s name which is enough. A logo will take up room on the page that you could fill with more relevant information. It will also increase the file size of your CV which may cause issues for the recruiter when they try to view it.

10. Your date of birth is not needed on your CV

Your date of birth is not needed; the content of the CV, the structure, and the language used are far more important to the recruiter.

Print

This blog is brought to you by one of our top recruiters, Claire Hamill. Claire has worked in the field for over four years currently sitting in our Group Talent Acquisition team.