Top Tips for a Perfect CV in 2020
Writing the perfect CV can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re unsure of what’s required. To make it easier for you, we have put together a Q&A video with some great insights including truths and myths, and have compiled a list of useful tips.
- Use an uncluttered layout with plenty of white space and wide margins
- Choose a single, common font such as Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri
- 10-12 size font, 16-point maximum for headings, no words in only capitals
- Don’t reduce the font size or margins to fit more in. If you need another page, use one!
- The 2-page CV is a myth. Provided it’s relevant and you’re not repeating yourself, keep it in
- If you’re handing it out, print on one side of the paper only, and number the pages if there are two or more
- Name, address and contact details are a must. You might want to add these details to the header or footer of your CV in case pages go missing
- You don’t need to title the document as your CV, it’s obvious
- Keep the profile short but detailed. Avoid using phrases such as: Can work well in a team and just as well on my own, team player etc
- Be punchy- Successfully managed the integration of XYZ
- “An ambitious and (insert qualifications) qualified professional with exposure to (summarise your skills attained in your job)
- If you have strong attention to detail written in the profile box, MAKE SURE there are no grammar and spelling mistakes on your CV!
- Start with your most recent position and work backwards
- Provide a job title, start and finish dates including month, the name of the company and a brief description of what they do
- Treat a promotion like a separate position and add content accordingly
- List relevant responsibilities, achievements, duties and skills
- Make sure you explain any significant gaps in your career
Qualifications, Education, Training and Development
- Decide on either the beginning or end of your CV for qualifications, dependant on whether they’re essential for the job
- If you believe they will make you more marketable, put them on the first page after profile or key skills
- If you don’t want all of your qualifications straight away, put post nominal letters after your name to indicate your formal qualifications
- List degrees and any executive programmes
- Mention relevant skills such as languages, technology, vocational or on the job training
- Include relevant training or skills acquired while unemployed, on sabbatical, or doing part-time or voluntary work
Reference and Client Endorsements
- Available on request is fine. You don’t need to provide these yet
- Keep concise and jargon-free
- Use short sentences and bullet-points
- Don’t use ‘I’ or by name
- Make sentences more direct by using verbs and nouns on their own (e.g. ‘Increased sales by £50k’ or ‘Major achievements include’)
- Solely responsible for the planning, modelling and delivery of XXX
- Use the past tense to describe career (‘Led a team of…’) but the present tense for your transferable skills and competencies (‘Offers experience in…’)
- Quantify outcomes in numbers, not words (‘Retained 100% of staff…’) as it’s quicker to read or scan
What Things Add Value?
- Your CV needs to explain why you’re good at your job, not what you simply do
- Introduce yourself with a strong positioning statement that sums up both your personal and professional attributes, taking into account the role being applied for – This should act as a focused summary of what you have to offer, so keep it simple and snappy
- Concentrate on how your involvement with projects showed a return on investment
- Did it improve productivity?
- Was the team responsible for rolling out a new programme?
- Did your management or direct support result in cost-efficiency savings?
- Every statement that you make should focus on achievements and successes. Try to support each statement with numerical evidence, such as: “reduced downtime by 15%”
- Mould CV to job requirements where possible
You can download a PDF of our CV Template here.
Still need help? Don’t hesitate to contact one of our experienced consultant who will be more than happy to help you.