The Perfect CV

Quite simply there isn’t one.

So give up already.

Well not quite. That would be a very short blog. But from many years of experience and looking over countless CVs we can give you an insight in to what companies are looking for.

Be clear and concise

On average, a recruiter or hiring manager spends 6 seconds looking at a CV. That’s a very small window of opportunity to impress. But remember, although your CV is important, it’s really there to get you to that next step, whether that’s a face to face meeting or a phone call where you’ll really get to show them what you’re made of. So with this in mind, a CV needs to be clear and to the point. Forget the waffle, start with a short paragraph or profile which highlights the main points on the job spec.

Start with relevant information

There’s no hard and fast rule but if your last stint in education was more than 3 years ago then start with your career history. Hiring managers want to know what you’re doing NOW, as that’s the most relevant information for the job they’re trying to fill.

Be Specific

Make it easy for the reader by being specific. Outline the company name, the dates you worked there, your job title in bold and then break down your duties in to bullet points. Highlight your achievements, any KPIs you worked to and targets you’ve hit, using figures to back them up. People have a return on investment and you need to show yours.

Go on to list your previous roles in the same format but the further you go back in your career history , the less, if any bullet points you need. It needs to be concise yet appropriately detailed.

It’s a fine balance. If you have had a number of recent short moves then a quick line outlining your Reasons for Leaving (RFL) will also help.

Include Education

The next stage is your education. Again keep it brief, listing the name of the establishment, course, level and then list your grades. Start with the highest level or most recent and work back to GCSE’s or O Levels. Use this section to also list any additional qualifications you have gained especially if they’re highly attractive or essential to the role you are applying for.

Be Cautious

Finally, approach interests with caution. Don’t feel the need to list all your pets (unless you are specifically applying for a role where a love for animals is important) or any quirky hobbies that you have that have no relevance to the job. A good use of the interests section would be to list sporting achievements and teams that you’re part of which show your competitive yet team playing nature.

And that’s a winning CV.