Top CV Writing Tips

3/25/2020

Utopian Professional Recruitment feels it’s important to share these key tips below on how to help you get noticed and secure your next interview…

Whilst we are seeing more and more individuals becoming available in the market, the competition of many candidates applying for the same roles may start to become challenging. NOW is the time to spend working on your CV ensuring it’s polished, up to date and appealing to any potential employer!

Utopian Professional Recruitment feels it’s important to share these key tips below on how to help you get noticed and secure your next interview…

What is a CV?

Your curriculum vitae (CV), is a personal document used to sell yourself to a prospective employer. Your CV should provide information about you, your professional work history, your skills, achievements and abilities. Ultimately, it’s a document to highlight why you’re the best person for the job.

Keep your CV simple:

Do

  • Always use professional language. Your CV is a reflection to how you may communicate within a workplace so construct your sentences properly, and use wide vocabulary avoiding industry jargon
  • List your roles in reverse chronological order. Employers are mostly interested in your recent work experience to assess your current capabilities
  • Chose the best CV format – ideally MS Word as it’s easy to read and passes through any CV scanning software. Also, there might be a time recruiter’s need to made quick amendments to your CV before sending on to Hiring Managers
  • Use a professional email address when sending your CV to a potential employer
  • Use space wisely - You have limited space on your CV, so make every square inch count by setting the margins on your page, keep fonts the same size and prevent leaving big spaces

Don’t

  • You do not need to add your age and date of birth. The only dates that should be on your CV are from employment and your qualifications. Your age doesn’t affect your ability to do the job, and it’s illegal for employers to ask about age under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Your marital status and dependents don’t affect your ability to do your job. These details are protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, and it’s against the law for employers to ask about them, so don’t include them on your CV
  • Don’t over complicate your CV, use a clear and simple font including Ariel, Calibri or Tahoma
  • Avoid using clichés including ‘think outside the box’ ‘hardworking’ ‘enthusiastic’
  • Do not add a photo, logo or image – it’s unnecessary and not needed, use the space to sell yourself

Tailor your CV and do your research:

Although your CV will be tailored towards the general type of roles you are applying to, you can give each application a boost by tweaking the CV even further, every time you apply for a different role.

Assess each job advert before applying and make sure that your CV is highlighting the most important requirements for each one.

If you are hiding any crucial skills that are required for a particular role, at the bottom of your CV, then make sure you move them up to the top of the CV for that application and make them prominent.

One quick and simple way to tailor your CV is by swapping your core skills around to reflect the requirements in the job advert.

Contact Information:

Do ensure all your contact information is at the top of your CV including your full name, address, telephone number, professional email address and URL to your LinkedIn profile

Personal Profile / Summary / Objective:

A personal profile, also known as a personal statement, career objective and professional profile, is one of the most important aspects of your CV. It’s a short paragraph (break the text up if need be) that sits just underneath your name and contact details giving prospective employers an overview of who you are and what you’re all about.

Key Achievements:

Using professional language, always highlight your key achievements. Depending on the role you’re applying for, include facts and figures where you can. Backing your achievements up with tangible figures is a great way to quantify your value to employers.

The examples below are the kind of figures that employers like to see in order to gauge the level of impact you make.

  • Managed a budget of £250k
  • Led a team of 10 staff
  • Increased revenue by 15%
  • Worked across 6 locations
  • Resolved 97% of complaints within 72hr guideline

Work History / Career Summary:

Your employment history section gives you a chance to outline your previous jobs, internships and work experience.

List your experience in reverse chronological order as your recent role is the most relevant to the employer (most recent first)

When listing each position of employment, state your job title, the employer, the dates you worked and a line that summarises the role. Then bullet point your key responsibilities, skills and achievements. Please do include as many duties and responsibilities as you can especially for your most recent roles.

Give your role descriptions some context by heading them up with a high-level summary that explains what the employer does, where you sit within the organisation and how your role benefits the employer.

It helps to choose the duties most relevant to the job you’re applying for, especially if it’s a long list. If you have many years’ worth of experience, you can reduce the detail of old or irrelevant roles. If you have positions from more than 10 years’ ago, you can delete them

Gaps in your employment:

If you have taken time out to travel, study, complete a personal project, or even due to illness; be transparent and include it on your CV. Often if there is gaps it can make recruiters suspicious.

Time spent outside of work can often involve plenty of skills (for example travelling requires organisation, planning, social skills etc.) so you can always put a positive spin on a career break description.

Education & Qualifications:

Like your experience section, your education should be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions and the dates you were there, followed by the qualifications and grades you achieved

 Finally…

ALWAYS SPELL CHECK AND PROOFREAD YOUR CV BEFORE SENDING IT.

Arrange for a friend or family member to read it and allow them to provide you with honest feedback.

 

Hopefully, the above CV writing tips should give you plenty of guidance for writing your own CV. If you need any further help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Utopian Professional Recruitment. We would be happy to review and provide any feedback to you!