HOW TO WRITE A CV

22nd November 2022, Tara McManus

Research shows that the average recruiter spends 6-7 seconds looking at your CV before deciding whether you’re suitable for the job.

So how do we make sure your CV stands out from the crowd? This blog will run through our top tips on how to create an eye-catching CV.

According to Career Sidekick, an open position can receive 250 applicants online. Only 2-3% of those applicants will be invited to the interview stage. The best way to ensure you are in that 2-3% is to create a powerful CV that remains in the minds of the hiring manager! Let’s go through the key parts of a typical CV- but remember CVs are flexible and might differ due to sector.

Header

The header on your CV should include your full name, professional title and contact information. Your contact information should include your phone number and email address, all of which must be up-to-date and accessible. You want to make it easy for the hiring manager to contact you!

You can add your address if you wish, but this isn’t necessary. Instead, put the area you’re in or if you are willing to relocate or travel.

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Personal Profile

According to CNBC, a personal profile/CV summary is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate what makes you a ‘strong candidate’. It usually tells the key facts like the industry you work in, what your goals are and what you have achieved. This can be useful to show a little bit of character and usually will align with the job you’re applying for. On average, the profile shouldn’t be longer than 8 sentences as the rest of your CV will act as supporting evidence!

History and Experience

Your work history is one of the most important parts of your CV. Experience is a huge factor in whether an employer thinks you’re suitable for a position. Your previous job experience should be displayed from most recent to least recent. Give each job a bold subheading and beneath bullet point key responsibilities you had. Again, try to match your previous responsibilities to the position you’re applying for.

Example:

Recruitment Consultant 2019 – 2022 | Connectment Ltd, Gateshead

Recruitment Consultant within the Energy sector, recruiting electrical engineers, HV Fitters, Project Managers and more.

Responsibilities:

  • Identifying and interviewing prospective candidates.
  • Briefing and debriefing candidates on possible job opportunities.
  • Communicating efficiently with clients regarding vacancies.

Achievements:

  • Liaised with over 1,000 clients and candidates in 2022
  • Grew the finance department’s client list by 12%
  • Achieved a 95% success rate in filling open vacancies

You should always consider your responsibilities and your achievements. Each section’s bullet points will show how your previous experience has forged your current capabilities. They also show what you’ve achieved and what you could achieve at your next job.

You want to follow this format for the rest of your work experience. A good rule of thumb is to omit any jobs you had over 10 years ago that aren’t relevant to your current position. For example, if you are looking for work as an electrical engineer and your first job at the age of 16 was working in a corner shop then you can omit it.

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Education

Education can be important depending on the job you’re going for. If you haven’t had a lot of previous jobs then education can help bulk your CV out. Again, format your education or qualifications the same as your work experience. If a job listing requires you to have certain qualifications or training it’s important to add these on.

BA English Literature, 2:1, Newcastle University, 2019

Or

10 GCSE’s A-C, ___ College, 2016

Others

There are other things you might want to add to your CV, but use this at your discretion. You do not have to include these, but if you are struggling to fill out your CV, you may want to!

  • Accreditations; If you are a member of a Chartered Institute or industry then you can include this to show your commitment to your career.
  • IT skills; if you’re going into an IT-focused career, listing your IT skills may be useful- look at desirable and essential skills in the job description, are there any IT ones?
  • Professional training; have you been trained professionally for any specialised equipment, internal or external training can look great on your CV. This is particularly important if you’re looking to work within a profession that requires training.
  • Languages; if you are fluent in several languages can elevate your CV. It is something you should advertise if you can!

Formatting

The worst thing your CV can be is unorganised. It should be neat and easy to read! Below is how we recommend formatting your CV.

  • Length: An average CV is usually 2 sides of A4. This may differ depending on the sector or experience level!
  • Font: The font should be easy to read, something like ariel, calibre or times new roman are good options. Make sure the text is all the same in font and size.
  • Font Size: The body of your text should be between 10 to 12 points, with your headers being 12 to 14.
  • Headings: Use headings to section out your CV. ‘Education’, ‘Previous Employment’ and ‘Profile’ are important headings. You can also add ‘extracurricular activities, ‘professional training’ or ‘languages’ if applicable.
  • Key Words: Make sure to use keywords related to the position you’re applying for. Look at the job description and make sure to tailor it to the requirements they specify. This can help hiring managers identify your suitability.

Conclusion

There you go, these are our top tips on how to write a great CV! The best way to get noticed by a hiring manager is to tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. This can take a lot of time, but will make you stand out if you can align your experience with what they are looking for!

Connectment Ltd is a consultancy-based recruitment company based in the North East, operating globally. Our reputation is based on proven results, as we are dedicated to providing our clients and candidates with the best possible service. If you are interested in working with us, get in touch today.

Connectment, connecting you to success.