Top 5 CV Writing tips for candidates

When advertising a vacancy, most businesses will require that you submit a CV in order to apply. Writing a great CV is crucial in securing the interviews you want. Below are our top 5 CV writing tips to help you get the interviews you want:

Top 5 CV Writing tips for candidates

#1 – Get the structure right

It is likely that the person reading your CV will have others to consider. To ensure that your CV gets the time it deserves, you should attempt to engage the reader as quickly as possible. You can achieve this by structuring your CV correctly. A well-structured CV will be able to tick lots of boxes in the first few sections (Profile, Key Skills & Professional Qualifications). Making a great first impression in the first few seconds will encourage the recruiter to read on, and to look more closely at your application. More detail of how to structure your CV, as well as a free downloadable CV template can be found on our candidate resources page.

#2 – Tailor your CV to each job

A CV should not be your life story, nor should it describe in endless detail everything you have done in your career to date. A good CV outlines your skills, experience, and abilities relevant to the role. Use the job description, and research the company to identify what the employer is looking for. This should include skills, experience, values and personality traits. You should then ensure that you have examples throughout your CV to demonstrate that you meet the employer’s requirements.

#3 – Use bullet points

  • Important information can get lost in large blocks of text.
  • Bullet points are easy to understand and digest.
  • Full-stops or commas may be an opportunity to add a separate point and tick another box.
  • Bullet points make it easy to tailor your CV for different roles.
  • More relevant bullet points can be moved higher up the list for greater impact.

#4 – Leave out irrelevant content

If you have a professional qualification, or a number of years experience in your field, it is unlikely that the recruiter will be concerned as to what GCSE grade’s you achieved in 1994, or what tasks you competed when working in a bar as a student. Leaving this sort of information in takes up space which could be better utilised.

#5 – Make it look professional

This does not mean adding colour, quirky designs, fonts or additional columns. These formats often make it more difficult for the reader to find relevant information. For most vacancies, a standard structure (as above), and a clean professional layout is preferable. You should consider the text font, text size and spacing. Use a font that is easy to read, and leave enough white space on the page to make it easy on the eye. Two or even three pages of a well laid out CV is far better than one page of small crowded text.

For more in depth job hunting tips visit our candidate resources page.