What does a good CV look like? 7 tips we give our candidates

10 mins

A good CV is one that gets you noticed by employers. But in this age of screening tools and ...

A good CV is one that gets you noticed by employers. But in this age of screening tools and applicant tracking systems, your CV needs to be top-notch if it’s ever going to get under the nose of a hiring manager. Luckily, we’re the pros at getting candidates noticed. Follow these eight tips and your CV will shout ‘see me’. (Get it?)

  1. Customise your CV

You could send the same generic CV for multiple applications. But I would suggest, tweaking your CV in line with the qualifications and skills the employer wants. For example, you can tailor the job descriptions in your work history to emphasise your most relevant experience.

  1. Highlight accomplishments, not tasks

Instead of just listing what each job involved, describe things you accomplished in the role, such as implementing a new system or smashing certain metrics. If possible, use quantifiable numbers.

  1. Use keywords

Each job listing will include desired skills, experience and qualifications. Use these exact words and phrases in your CV to capture the attention of human eyes and any screening software. A good way to do this – aside from tweaking your job descriptions – is to include a ‘Skills’ section that’s tailored to the job at hand.

  1. No crazy formatting

Use Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman in size 11 or 12. And follow a simple layout and order. Start with your name and contact details. Then include a brief summary statement that outlines why you’re a great fit for the job. Then you can list your skills and work experience. Finally, education.

  1. Include the URL of your LinkedIn profile

But do check that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and matches the info on your CV!

  1. Don’t fluff the finishing touches

Proofread, proofread and proofread again. Then save a copy of your CV as a PDF (which ensures you won’t get any clunky formatting issues if someone has a different software edition). Also, include your name in the file name – for example, ‘FirstnameLastname_CV’.

  1. Include a brief cover letter (even if the employer hasn’t asked for one)

This way, your CV is even more likely to stand out from the crowd.


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