Professional CV Tips

Quickly improve your CV following these basic ‘CV boosting’ tips!

If targeting a specific job / industry, use power words / keywords to attract the recruiter’s attention! Also, don’t forget to showcase your transferable skills. These could include: leadership skills, communication skills or computer literacy. However, don’t just throw these words into your profile for the sake of it – stick to highlighting relevant skills!

Do not write your CV using ‘I…’, ‘He…’, or ‘Wendy…’. These subjective personal pronouns are implied in a CV, and therefore, do not need to be used. As an example, ‘I am responsible for managing a team of sales staff’, should be changed to something along the lines of ‘Managing a team of sales staff’.

Avoid repetition. If you had a specific responsibility in a number of jobs, just include it in 1 – there is no need to keep repeating details and this will allow you to use the extra space to expand on other, more relevant details.

Do not switch from past to present tense. This is a very common mistake and can often make your CV harder to read.

Quantify your achievements! We’ve mentioned this before in numerous other articles but feel it deserves mentioning again. When listing your achievements, where possible, include figures to back up your claim and to help attract attention. For example, ‘reduced staff turnover by 30% in less than 6 months’, sounds miles better than, ‘reduced staff turnover’.

Create a unique and catchy introductory profile! Write this last – making notes throughout the rest of the CV to extract relevant keywords, skills and career highlights.

Avoid using quirky / unprofessional fonts. Fancy fonts can often frustrate recruiters.

…and finally – proof read EVERYTHING! You’ll be surprised how many CVs we see that have a couple of digits missing in phone numbers or even an incorrect email address. One simple mistake can lead to a missed phone call!

cv spelling errors

Frequently asked questions

I want to include figures in my CV’s achievements but don’t have any? I have a rough idea; what should I do?

If you don’t have access to specific numbers / percentages, rough estimates should be fine, (providing you’re not inflating the truth too much)!

When writing my achievements, can I highlight points based around times, rather than sales figures, etc?

Yes! Achievements can be performance-related, time-related or even used to showcase your initiative. Remember, where possible, back these achievements up with numbers. Your CV’s main aim is to sell you, as a candidate!

My friend has a personal profile that was used to get her a job that I am also interested in – could I just use this?

We’d advise against this. No 2 CV profiles should ever be the same – particularly if you’re applying for a job at the same company!

Why do I need a CV?

A CV is used as your introduction to the recruiter. In addition, think of your CV as your personal sales tool. Your CV should be used to create a good first impressive.

I want to print my CV, what paper should I use?

It depends, if you’re sending your CV to recruitment agencies, normal quality paper is fine as it will probably just be photocopied before being distributed. However, if you’re sending your CV directly to the company you want to work for, it’s always a nice touch to use high quality paper, (of at least 24lb).

I’ve heard I shouldn’t include personal details at the top of my CV. Is this correct?

There is no specific ‘rule’ that says you shouldn’t. However, we advise including your name, address, phone number and email address at the top of your CV and your DOB, nationality, marital status and driving licence at the bottom.

Do I need to include an address for each of my employers?

No. This is only needed in an application form. In a CV, you’ll only need to include company names, job titles and dates.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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