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Top ten CV writing tips

by Alice Cresswell-Hogg | 20 March 2017

CV writing is a skill that is highly underestimated. I have been working within the recruitment industry for almost three years and in that space of time I have seen hundreds upon hundreds of CVs. As a recruiter, this has given me insight into what makes a good CV and what makes a great one. 

For some, writing a CV can seem daunting and three years ago when I started searching for my first role I had no idea where to start. Now I am at the receiving end of the applications, it is surprising how very few people have mastered the art.  

Here are my ten tips for writing a successful CV:

1. Before you start typing, write a list of everything that you have accomplished or that you are proud of. Don’t forget skills such as system experience or being able to speak a foreign language. Mentioning these skills can really help you stand out in a crowded market.

2. Keep the layout of your CV simple and make sure the relevant information is clear, such as dates of employment, the employer and the position you held

3. Don't leave gaps in your CV – When writing a CV you want to cover at least 10 years of previous work history. If you took a career break to go travelling, to have a child or if you were unemployed for a few of months, include the dates and state why as this will leave the employer with fewer concerns.

4. Bullet points are the easiest way for hiring managers to read your responsibilities and duties as they unlikely to have time to read through long paragraphs.

5. Tailor your CV to the job description ensuring that any relevant skills or experience are stated clearly for the employer to see. Remember to include contact details such as an email address and phone number as well as social media links to your LinkedIn profile or personal website.

6. State what computer packages you have used – certain companies may use one that you have previously used which could give you an advantage over other applicants. Remember to include competency on systems such as Excel, for example if you know how to do macros or vlookups this can be seen as advantageous to some clients. 

7. Include any extra learning you have participated in, for example any computer or language courses. Or any professional qualifications that you are working towards such as AAT.

8. When mentioning your interests explain what skills these have given you and how they would be valuable to the role. For example, if you enjoy playing sports explain how this has developed your teamwork skills. 

9. Keep your CV up-to-date with your current situation. You never know when a good opportunity is going to come up so make sure your CV is as up-to-date as possible! 

10. And last but not least, ensure you double and triple check for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors! 

If you would like any further help on how to write the perfect CV please get in touch by emailing alice.creswell-hogg@sellickpartnership.co.uk or call 0151 224 1480. Alternatively, view our latest roles.