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.

Layout
  • 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
CV Structure

Personal Information

  • 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

Profile

  • 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!

Work Experience

  • 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

 Language

  • 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
 Add Value

 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. 

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