When it comes to writing a standout CV, first impressions count. Employers don’t have time to read between the lines, so the more you do to show how you are the right candidate for the role, the more chance you’ll have of getting it.
Writing a standout CV – our top tips
- Keep the information relevant and concise
- Be reader friendly; avoid long paragraphs and use bullet points
- Highlight success with direct phrases such as ‘Major sales / projects / successes include’
- Write about previous roles in the past tense but use the present for transferrable skills and your current role
- Proof read, proof read again and then ask someone to proof read it with a fresh set of eyes
- Keep it simple
- Use the same font throughout, and make sure it’s a suitable one such as Times New Roman, Arial or Courier.
- Bold headings
- Don’t reduce font size to fit more in; either reduce content or use another page. Ideal font size is 10-12 for body text
- An example layout is below
Include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. If you have a profile on LinkedIn, add that here too. It’s a good idea to include your name and contact details on each page just in case your CV gets split up.
This is your first opportunity to sell yourself and outline your major CV WOWs to grab readers’ attention; it’s your opening pitch. A good summary is focused on what you have to offer, keeping it simple and snappy. Sum up your personal and professional attributes, taking into account the job specification.
- Include skills such as languages, technology, or vocational training
- Start with the most recent role first and remember to include dates (month/year).
- Account for any significant career gaps; you may have developed valuable skills from other pursuits.
- Treat a promotion like a separate position
- Include relevant responsibilities, achievements, and skills; describing the scope of your job, rather than giving your full job description.