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stand out cv

Top tips for a standout CV

Your CV or Curriculum Vitae is the primary instrument you need to apply for a job. It is your working life on a page (or two) describing your education, experience, skills and qualifications in a way that demonstrates the benefits of a recruiter hiring you.

Clearly there are some key pieces of information you need to include in your CV regardless of what type of job you are applying for such as contact details, education/professional qualifications and details of your previous roles. However, the way you present and structure this information will vary for each role you apply for.

Top tips for a standout CV

  • Consider what employers want - think about what the employer is looking for in a candidate and arrange your most significant skills and experiences as early as possible in your CV
  • Match your skills to the job - try to reflect the job on offer to make it as easy as possible for an employer to match your skills with what they are looking for.
  • Keep it concise – you need to provide relevant, detailed information about your experiences that make you a good fit for the role but reams of information will turn the recruiter off.
  • Check, check and check again – spell check and carefully proofread your CV. It is worth asking someone else to read it too in case you have missed anything. Even the smallest mistakes could make the employer think you are not conscientious.
  • Think like a recruiter - when reading through your CV, try to place yourself in the position of an employer reading the document: Does this CV really give you the information you want in the best possible way?

How to handle tricky subjects

  1. Reasons for leaving jobs
    We would advise you not to put this on your CV. The decision to move is a complex and emotive issue and your statement could be misinterpreted. It is best to keep your CV positive and factual and leave this topic for discussion in an interview.
  2. Gaps in experience
    Cover any gaps in your experience with a short, factual explanation. If you are a recent graduate with little work experience, consider mentioning skills learnt at university through group projects, your dissertation or thesis project and any volunteer work you have done.
  3. Salary
    We would advise you to omit your salary details from your CV. You can discuss this at a more appropriate time, such as if you are offered an interview. Salary levels are dependent on many variables and they can be easily misconstrued.

If you need some further help or advice please speak to one of our consultants on 01489 898989.


For more career advice and useful resources click here.

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