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Top 10 CV Writing Tips to Land Your Dream Job

CV Writing Tips
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If you need proof of how important it is to write a detailed and professional CV, remember this statistic: Recruiters will usually decide to discard a CV or pursue the application in just 60 seconds. And some may only spend eight seconds on it!

But there’s more. 

Even if a recruiter makes it past that all-important 60-second mark, they’re only likely to spend around three minutes perusing your CV.

So what does this mean? Well, in simple terms, your resume needs to be organised, scannable, well-written and packed with pertinent information.

To give yourself the best possible chance of making it past the initial screening stage of the recruitment process, follow these 10 simple CV writing tips. 

1. Be Concise

Try to get your point across in as few words as possible. Remember: Recruiters typically go through dozens – and sometimes hundreds – of CVs every day. If you’re not getting your point across quickly, your chances of making the next stage of the process are greatly diminished. 

2. Highlight Relevant Skills

While it’s great to have a master copy of your CV that’s always ready to go, customising it for the intended recipient is a good way to catch the attention of recruiters. Highlight the skills, competencies and experiences that were listed in the initial job vacancy text. This could give you an edge over many of your fellow applicants. 

3. Use a Logical Structure

Start with an introduction to you and your skill set. The header section of your CV is vitally important, as it’s the first thing recruiters will see. Then, think about what’s important to most recruiters. In most cases, this will be your skills and work experience. Follow those sections up with educational details and industry qualifications. 

Finally, include a section for additional information – which should include details of your interests outside work. There’s no definitive right or wrong approach to formatting a CV, but some approaches are more effective than others.

4. Be Upfront About Your Career Objectives

A lot of effective CVs include an introduction that focuses on the applicant’s long-term career objectives. This is a great way to demonstrate your passion for your chosen industry and profession. Just be sure to customise your statement to ensure it’s relevant. After all, you may have various objectives in multiple potential employment sectors. 

5. Include Your Most Significant Achievements

This is a good place to get specific about your career thus far. When you’re writing the work experience section of your CV, include a little information about a time when you achieved an objective or exceeded expectations. 

6. Keep Your CV Up to Date

This might sound obvious for an article on CV writing tips, but it’s amazing how many people fail to update their CV every time they reach a significant career milestone. If you have CVs stored in multiple locations online, keep a list of them so you know where to go when you have a new version to upload. 

7. Mind the Gaps!

If possible, don’t leave unexplained career gaps on your CV. While you should never lie (more to come on that in a moment), you should recognise and – where possible – explain gaps in your employment. If you spend the year travelling or were made redundant, say so!

8. Stick to Demonstrable Facts

According to a 2023 survey, 70% of workers admitted to lying about their qualifications, work experience or achievements on their CV. And more than a third admitted to lying frequently! This is always a bad idea, as the simplest of checks can uncover the most mundane untruths. And if you can lie about something before you’ve even got the job, how can you be trusted once you’re performing your duties? 

Remember: Lying on your CV or simply embellishing the truth might feel like a good idea at the time, but remembering the lies you’ve told will always have the potential to get you into trouble. 

9. Use Relevant Stats

There’s nothing wrong with blowing your own trumpet when writing your CV. After all, anything that gives you an edge over the competition can be the difference between a successful application and missing out. But if you mention specific achievements, try to attach a statistic to give your claim some context. 

For example: It’s usually not enough to say “I improved customer service levels”. Instead, say something like “I made significant improvements to the customer experience which resulted in a 25% reduction in online complaints”. That’s something you can back up with evidence if you’re ever asked.

10. Proofread Your CV

That typo or misspelled word on your CV might not seem like a big deal, but what does it say to prospective employers about your standards, attention to detail and attitude? Proofread your CV every time you update it. 

Ready to Write Your Next CV?

If this all seems like a lot of hard work, or you’d like to gain a competitive edge over your fellow applicants, there is an alternative. Professional CV writing services include everything from industry best practices to proofreading – and they’re more affordable than you might think!

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