Is your CV up to scratch?

Your CV is your chance to make a fantastic first impression on a potential employer. A brilliant CV acts as an advertisement for you and can give you a head start in the recruitment process so it is worth spending some time and effort to get it right. If you are looking for a new job this autumn we have a few tips to help you make sure your CV is the best in the business.

Pay attention to detail

This is possibly the most important thing to do - making a spelling mistake on your CV will put an employer off instantly. Once your CV is finished always check carefully for spelling and grammar mistakes. Use a simple, easy to read font and make sure the CV is neat and attractive.

Keep it brief

There’s no need to write an essay – around two pages is ideal.

What to include – and what not to…

Start with your name and contact details. Follow that with a short personal profile paragraph, then your employment history, your qualifications and education, your hobbies/interests if you want to include them and a statement about references. You do not need to include your date of birth or your marital status.

Employment history

Write this in reverse order with your most recent employer first. Include your title, employment dates, main responsibilities and any key achievements or projects. If you are applying for your first job after graduating, for example, and do not have a long employment history then you can include information about any holiday jobs, volunteering or work experience you have done.


List your qualifications in reverse order with the most recent first. If you have achieved professional qualifications make sure to include those.

Personal profile

Include a short paragraph that describes your skills, your career objectives and your personality. You can find plenty of advice on writing a personal statement online – LinkedIn has a useful page here:

Interests: take care!

Including a statement about your hobbies or interests is optional. If you are short on space you might decide not to include anything but if you are a recent graduate or lack experience or you are applying for a job directly related to your hobbies this section can be a great way to let employers know more about you. Be concise, avoid the temptation to boast and don’t include “socialising” – it can put employers off.

Make sure you have references available

You don’t have to put your referees on your CV. Include a sentence to say that references are available on request and make sure your referees expect to be contacted.

Tailor your CV to each application

We know that tailoring your CV to each application is time-consuming but if you make the effort you increase your chances of securing an interview. Doing some research on the company and making sure your CV reflects the skills they require can really pay off.

Posted on Monday Oct 1