6 Ways to Craft an Outstanding CV

July 10th 2023

In today’s competitive job market, a well-crafted CV makes all the difference in securing your dream job.

Employers have very little time to read through CV’s. In fact research suggests they spend as little as 6-9 seconds reading them. So, you really need to grab attention and make a good impression straight away.

Here are 6 ways you can craft an outstanding CV that gets you to the next stage in the hiring process.

Structure it well

Use the top section of your CV to get straight to the point.

Highlight the skills and experience that the employer is looking for. Write a paragraph that ticks off all the requirements in the job advert and showcase why you’re the right fit. Then list all relevant skills, historic projects, past roles and your qualifications.

Keep it clear, concise and relevant

Make sure the skills and experience you list match the requirements of the role. If your CV is unclear and lists irrelevant skills, it’ll quickly get disregarded.

If you’re applying for a site manager role, the employer will be looking for strong knowledge of building and construction, along with skills like management, leadership, communication and logical thinking. So, there’s no point listing any historic roles or skills that don’t fit.

If you’re working with a recruiter, they’ll be able to help you narrow down what you should and shouldn’t include based on what they know about the role.

Pay attention to key words and language

Unless you send it direct, there’s a fair chance that your CV won’t reach a human straight away. It may be scanned and assessed for keywords digitally, then forwarded to an employer if it meets their criteria.

It’s important to make sure you use similar language to the job advert. Identify any key words and make sure you use them throughout your CV.  Key words will likely be key skills and requirements.

Talk about your achievements (And don’t forget the numbers!)

If there’s one thing that’s often lacking on a CV, it’s people talking through their achievements at each employer or project. Including some statistics, is an effective way to make your CV stand out. Examples may be that you were responsible for an X% increase in team efficiency, or that you managed a team of X. Including the value of each project you’ve worked on also helps potential employers evaluate if you’re the right fit. 

Adapt your CV for each application

A great way to get discounted from the running is to send an obviously generic CV. Avoid this by using different versions based on the specific role you’re applying for. Include phrases from the job advert, and mention the company by name to show you’ve taken the time to tailor it to them. If you aren’t sure about something, reach out and ask before you send your CV.  It demonstrates your genuine interest and suitability for the role.

Proof it

Don’t hit send without proofing your CV. Better yet, ask a someone else to proof it for you (your recruiter will do this if you’re working with one). A fresh set of eyes may catch errors or give you tips you hadn’t thought about. First impressions matter and a potential employer won’t be impressed if your CV is littered with bad spelling and formatting.

Need help with your CV?

Looking for a new role and need to update your CV? We can give you feedback and support to find your ideal role, simply get in touch.