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showcase your credentials at 100%

Writing an application


can you say yes, it's got all of them?
1. Fundamentals
  • Your name, location and contact info.

  • If they want to get in touch with you, make it easier for them.

  • Your mobile number and email address at the front of your CV.

2. Styling.

They like CVs which are easy on the eye.

Simple styles tend to be the best. The only exceptions… if you’re a professional designer.

  • Use just one font style.

  • Two or three text sizes.

  • Standard/ black text colour, with just one additional colour

  • Avoid underlining and italics.

  • The best CVs have plenty of white space, and make use of line breaks and bullet points.

  • For experienced hires, a 2-page CV is the most popular in the reader’s eyes.


NB for technical positions, there may be exceptions to the 2-page preference.

In such cases, in which you may wish to place technical skills in an addendum.


A common error is people submitting CVs which are text-heavy on the eye (like a bible).

Too much information can mean none of it gets read!

Long CVs with little white space give me a headache.

3. Profile

Employers dislike profiles with vague statements that anybody could say about themselves.

Many say that peoples profiles are often disconnected from the jobs that people are applying for…

  • A profile gives you an ideal starting point to show your suitability for the opportunity.

  • Many say it’s a great place for you to quickly and easily tailor your CV to the needs of a specific opportunity.

  • Tips include… showcasing areas of relevant strength, skills, accomplishments or certifications.


If you’re applying for a job in an area which is new to you, it can work in your favour to state in your profile the kind of position you wish to take up…


But only when you’re applying for jobs of that type.

4. Your employment history…

It’s your employment history which counts most, and it’s that that they find most confusing…


Reverse chronological order

  • Firstly, people list their employment history in reverse chronological order (most recent positions first), which they like…

  • They dislike it when people list it in chronological order.

  • A common frustration is when candidates place a long list of achievements or accomplishments at the front of the CV.

  • Hiring managers prefer to see what you did and where you did it, i.e. embed it in the employment history.


Context of your employer/s

Will the person reading your CV be familiar with the nature of your current and former employers’ lines of business?

  • Without this, your profile may lack context or relevance.

  • People will be familiar with high-profile brands like Amazon, Coca-Cola, Google…

  • But will they be familiar with your employers’ lines of business?

  • Even if you’ve worked for big-name companies, consider nuances, e.g. Amazon online, grocery and Web Services


Context of your job title

  • Some job titles are obscure and, whilst they may be understood within your employer, may mean little or nothing to the outside world.

  • Consider using straightforward titles like Financial Controller, Project Manager or HR Business Partner.

  • If you are a mature person, make sure your CV is just 2 or 3 pages.


Are you aged 40+?

  • Most people add their most recent employment detail onto an old CV.

  • Resulting in a long CV (4 or more pages) with excessive detail of dated experience with little or no value.

  • Employers are most interested in what you’ve done in the last 5 years. What you did 10+ years ago is likely to have little relevance to the present.

  • Your early career experiences 15+ years ago may only merit 2-3 lines of content. Just employer name, job title, years of employment and one or two descriptive lines outlining.

  • The quality of your content may also need refreshing. Standards increase over time and as your level of seniority progresses.

5. Facts and figures.

They’ll look at company names, titles, and employment dates.

Then they really want to know what you did and, importantly, accomplished.

  • The best CVs are those which include achievements with facts and figures.

  • Your emphasis should be on the positive.

  • Where appropriate, show the scope and scale of responsibilities commensurate with the job you’re applying for.

  • Without facts and figures, your CV will be non-descript and more likely to get rejected.

6. Education and Hobbies
  • Once you’re established into your career, employers would expect to see your educational details at the back of your CV.

  • The older you are, the less there is a need for detailed information in contrast to younger people.

  • Younger people may benefit from placing educational qualifications at the front of their CVs.

  • Most employers like to see someone having interests outside of work.

  • Hobbies and interests can bring personality to your CV and, in some situations, substantiate your credentials.

7. Now check it properly
  • If someone sees a spelling or grammatical error CV, they’ll look for more

  • One or a small number of errors may qualify you out of the running.

  • Time to check the quality of your work.

  • Perform a spell and grammar check.

  • Have a friend or trusted advisor check over your CV?

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