Top Tips for successful CV writing

At CityCV we are highly trained in CV writing and the following points are just some of the areas we can help out with.

One Size Fits All?
The most common mistake job hunters make is to assume that one CV fits all job applications. Not so! Our first top tip is to read and re-read the job application and selection criteria to ensure that your current CV ticks all the boxes. If it doesn’t, you will need to spend some time amending it – this might be a simple process to reflect some nuances in the application, or it might require a significant amount of re-writing and re-focusing.

Get in Touch
Another often overlooked area is your personal details. Are they correct and up to date? Are they appropriate? The email address that gives your friends a chuckle might not be so amusing to a potential employer. If you’re going to include a LinkedIn profile within your contact details, make sure that it adds value above and beyond your CV.

A Job Description Won’t Get You The Job
A surprisingly large number of candidates still copy and paste their job description into their CV. It’s the perfect description of what you do, right? Wrong. It’s a great description of what you should be doing, but it provides the recruiter with very little information about your ability, and certainly doesn’t help in the decision making process. The key is to ask yourself what you were recruited to do, and then be specific about how you’ve achieved that – use numbers, figures, facts and names (be careful of sensitive information however). As you’re writing, keep asking yourself, ‘how have I made a difference to my company?’

Tell Me A Story
Recruiters don’t like to be confused. If there are unexplained gaps within your career or academic history, explain them. Fewer and fewer employers expect linear career histories and are open to people who have travelled, volunteered, cared for family members or taken other lifestyle breaks. Likewise, explain a sudden shift in career, particularly if this is the first role you’re be undertaking in your new sector. Use your profile to describe why you want to change focus and what you’ve done to facilitate this – draw attention to additional study, volunteer or work experience.

30 Seconds. Or Maybe 11 Seconds.
The statistics vary, but there’s no doubt that recruiters spend an incredibly short amount of time reviewing a CV. Whilst some experts might tell you that formatting doesn’t really matter, it does. The reader needs to be drawn to the most important information on your CV and good formatting does this very easily. Spend some time considering how best to do this and play around with a few different formats. In addition, make sure that whilst detailed and full of examples, your writing is succinct and clear. Opinions divide over whether small formatting or grammatical mistakes will cost you a job interview, but we say why take the chance? Make sure it’s word perfect and impeccably presented.

For more information on all of our CV writing services visit our CV writing page or call us on 020 7100 6656

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