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How to write a stand out CV

The Purpose of your CV

Your CV is Your Sales Tool. Keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it punchy, don’t use jargon and don’t give a potential employer any reason to make negative assumptions about you or to not take you seriously.

The Style of your CV

A typical advert placed by a recruitment consultancy will receive 30-60 responses, a typical advert placed directly be a company will received 60-100 responses. The greater the salary-the more responses will be received. Large responses need to somehow be filtered. Make sure that your CV is short, sharp and full of relevant facts rather than flowery descriptions so that it is not thrown on the unwanted pile. The most common layout of information on a CV (and therefore the easiest for a recruiter to glean information) is as follows:

The format of Your CV

Name, contact and status information
Personal Profile, Career Objective or CV statement, e.g. “I.T. Director”
List of Skills
Professional Qualifications/Membership of Professional Organisations
Career History/Work Experience (in reverse chronological order)
Training Courses, Other Skills and supplementary information
Name, contact and status information
Driving Status and eligibility to work in the UK>

Name and contact information at the top in the order of Name, Address, Day Contact (work), Night contact (home) and Date of Birth (if you choose to detail this).
This is the order that most recruitment software ‘autoreads’ details – making it easier for a recruitment consultancy to import your details onto their database software.

Personal Profile or CV Statement

The truth about the ‘Personal Profile’ paragraph is quite often nobody reads them!I If you do choose to write a profile – make it short and use everyday words

Core Skills – This is particularly relevant for roles where specific skill-sets are required such as within IT programming or engineering Be careful with career objectives e.g. “Blue Chip Business Developer seeks career role within a dynamic growing organisation” could mean that you are dismissed from the ideal Account Management opportunity for you.

Academic Background/Education

Detail your highest level of education first. Do not detail the scores of your academic qualifications if they are bad (unless the job description specifically requires this information on your application).
If you are a recent graduate detail your core subjects and dissertation title.
Unless you are a recent graduate do not waste valuable CV space going into great depths to detail your O-Levels/.GCSE’s/A-Levels/CSE’s, etc.

Career History/Work Experience

Detail your career in a reverse chronological order – current/last job first and go backward. Spend the greatest proportion of your CV on your most recent career (5-10 years).
Be succinct – do not waffle or pontificate! Remember this is your sales tool – use it to sell yourself – think careful about the words that you use.
Be factual and try to use bullet pointed statements. The average recruiter will skim read CVs looking for applicable points and experience.
Use facts throughout – if you saved your last company a fortune by introducing new innovative systems tell them. If you we’re the no#2 salesperson out of 35 let them know However, always be truthful, as many employers will expect to see evidence of these achievements at interview stage.
Do not use jargon or abbreviations. Even abbreviations such as KPI’s and TQM, whilst widely used in business are not understood by everyone.


Many books on CV writing will tell you not to bother with Interests/Hobbies. However your interests are commonly used by interviewers to try and find out about you, the ‘real person’.
The common advice is one intellectual interest, one team sport, one other sport and an art/creative interest. Only detail genuine interests so if probed you can easily expand on the subject.


If you do not wish to detail your references don’t even waste valuable CV space on ‘References: Available upon Request’


This is now becoming more commonplace and allows you to detail a summing up statement as to why you are the person for the job.

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