CV advice

How to write a winning CV?


There are some golden rules of writing CVs that any potential recruiter will expect you to have followed.

Tailor your CV to the job offer

If you are applying for several types of job or for different areas, you should have a specific CV for each one, highlighting certain skills and experience relevant for the job role. Employers want to see that you have taken the time to get to know their company and you are interested enough in the job offer to personalise your application. If you want to write a speculative CV, then emphasise why you would like to work in for them and what you would bring to the company in your covering letter. Look carefully at the language used in the job advert and the requirements. Use the same terminology when you write your CV. The recruiter will quickly identify that you have the skills and knowledge required.

Be concise

A CV is a tool to get you an interview. You need to be informative and talk about your main experience and skills. We advice you to sumarise your CV and go to the point. You will have plenty of time to explain in details the information you have in your CV during the interview. Use bullet points is a good way to organize your thoughts and write short. Define the key words you think are the most important to describe your profile and that match with the employer’s requirements. Your CV is more likely to stand out and make an impression if it is succinct.

Check and check again

It is very easy to make grammatical and spelling errors when writing a CV. You’ll be concentrated on your ideas and will probably overlook some mistakes. Some good CVs are rejected outright just because of that. If you think you can spot them better on paper than on screen, print your CV. If you are sending your CV as an attachment to an email, it can be a good idea to send it to yourself or to one of your friends to check that the CV opens correctly and maintains its format. Get your friends and family to have a look at your CV if you can, they might notice something you haven’t.

Justify the gaps

Any gaps in education or career must be explained. If you don’t do it, the recruiter might think you’re hiding something. If you went travelling for a year or were unemployed for more than 5-6 months, mention it in your CV.

Highlight your interests

Be specific when you list your activities. Instead of writing “exhibitions”, say “modern art exhibitions” for instance. Employers like to have some information not related to your career to determine your personality. They may ask you about your leisure pursuits in the interview. That can be a good opportunity for you to develop a better relation with the recruiter.

Get feedback

Get feedback from people who know you. They may be able to help you to find your main strengths if you are under-selling yourself.