Writing a Successful CV

A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is the first thing that a potential employer or recruiter will see when you apply for a job. What is written down on your CV then, is of high importance and can be the deciding factor in your progression to a face to face interview. Equally, recruitment agencies often find their candidates through their CVs, which is all the more reason to make sure yours is up to standard.

So what is the best way to construct a CV? In truth there is no so called “best way”, however there are CV writing best practices that should be considered. Here are a few tips that we feel separate the average CV from the successful CV.

  1. Keep in mind the job that you are applying for. Firstly look at the job description on the job advert. Take into account the key skills that the employer is looking for. Does your CV have all of these skills? Is the employer looking for a “team player” and does your CV show that you are? If you tailor your CV to the job in question, you are guaranteed to be more successful in getting the interview.
  2. Think in the mind-set of the employer. If you are seeking employment within a specific industry, for example insurance, then your CV should reflect this. For example, you should spend more time talking about relevant qualifications as opposed to ones that are less relevant.
  3. Put your education and experience in reverse chronological order. The reason, employers want to see the most relevant and recent experience and qualifications straight away. Remember they may not have time to look at CVs in depth.
  4. Write positively about your work experience and include achievements to date. This is important as it helps to support your skill set.
  5. Make sure your CV is easy to read and without grammatical errors. This may seem like an obvious point, but it is surprising how many people forget. Use a spellchecker and/or having someone proof read it is the best option.
  6. Make sure the layout of your CV is pleasing to the eye and industry specific. For example if you are applying for a job in graphic design, naturally you will want to include graphics or a more creative page design. You wouldn’t necessarily use the same template for a role as a motor claims handler. There’s a vast amount of CV template and resources across the internet and we would recommend having a look to generate some ideas.

Conclusion

Your Curriculum Vitae is a very important document when applying for jobs. If you are looking for a job in insurance, for example a claims handler or an insurance broker, a CV can be more important than, for example a designer, where a portfolio would display your work.

So to conclude you should make sure that your CV is relevant for the role, shows examples of your skills and that you put you most relevant qualifications first. By doing this you stand a good chance of your CV being seen and getting that all important face to face interview.