4 Tips for writing a great CV
Remember this: Your CV is a sales document which must sell your skills and explain how they are going to add value to your employer.
Your CV should be a summary of your work history, academic, and other achievements. Highlight your education, qualifications and previous employment that sell "you" to a potential employer. Emphasise core skills, detail your key strengths, showcase your experience, and its relevance to the job you are applying for. Here are four key ways to write a great CV.
This is an extremely important part of your CV. It should be a clear, easy-to-follow structure that the employer can read easily and not have to re-read to make sense of it. A good structure is the following: Name and contact details; Personal profile; Key skills and achievements; Employment history; Education and qualifications. We’ve written more detail about each section below:
It’s important that your CV is consistent in every possible way. It should be consistent with your LinkedIn profile if you have one, have consistent fonts and word sizing, and a consistent layout. Make it easy for the recruiter to read everything with ease. For example, if you write in the third person, do so throughout the whole document. If you need to update your CV, ensure all updates are consistent. Finally, use easy to follow headings to aid clarity.
The look and consistency of your CV is crucial, done well it will draw the potential employer in, done badly it will annoy them!
3. Give Examples
Instead of making generic statements about your past roles, such as ‘achieved good sales with lots of customers’, give examples of what you did and why it worked. Statistics and facts are an effective way of ‘wowing’ a potential employer. You could say ‘achieved [x number] of sales within a five-month period, dealing with [x number] of customer accounts’, which is then more specific and an interesting example that highlights your strengths.
Top Tip - it is crucial that there is evidence in your CV of you having the skills the job requires.
4. Proofread and feedback
Once you’re satisfied that your CV is selling you and your skills effectively, is relevant to the job you are applying for and clearly sets out a "sales" case for you being offered an interview, proofread it. Look for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and inconsistencies. Then ask someone else to read it. Ask them for honest feedback about what works and what doesn’t. This is a great way of polishing your CV and making it the best it can be.