Catalyst Recruitment - People + Progress

Seven secrets to a successful CV

Nov 12, 2014

When you are looking for a new job, your CV is the key to securing an interview – so how do ensure your CV is shortlisted and not overlooked? Here are Catalyst’s seven secrets to successful CV writing:…

1. Start with the basics

This is always an easy place to start and should include: your full name and contact information; education and qualifications; professional experience; relevant skills; interests, achievements; hobbies and references.

2. No more than two pages of A4

Try and keep to only two pages of A4 for your CV. A good CV is concise, clear and easy to read – it’s your first chance to impress the employer. An employer will read through dozens of CV’s so keeping it short but detailed will make it easier for them. Your CV must be clearly presented. The layout should be well structured with clear headlines and titles, with bullet points and using a font that is easy to read.

3. Tailor your CV to fit the job role

Tailor your CV to fit the job role and job description. When you have established what the employers are looking for, match your skills to each requirement and relate your CV to that role. Make sure you mention the qualities they are looking for. Highlight how your work experience and skills are relevant to the job. Any CV you send to an employer should be tailored to that specific role.

4. Highlight your skills

Make sure you draw the reader’s attention to your key skills as it can help you to stand out from the crowd. These could include: communication skills; IT skills; working well in a team; problem solving etc. Think about what you've done to develop your own skills such as examples from your time within a voluntary group building upon team skills – it is all applicable.

5. Keep your interests interesting

Sharing your interests with the potential employer gives an idea of what you are like as a person. Highlight the interests that demonstrate your skills such as playing for a local team, demonstrates your ability to work with others or taking on role as a captain demonstrates your leadership skills. Include interests that make you diverse and interesting. Don’t include interests such as watching TV, make yourself interesting and demonstrate your hobbies contribute to you being the ideal employee.

6. Include references

References should be from someone who has employed you in the past and can vouch for your skills and experience. Make sure your referee will be complimentary to you and is someone who has been a witness to your skills.

7. Keep your CV up to date

Ensure your CV is up to date and by reviewing it on a regular basis. Adding new experiences, achievements or skills is crucial to ensuring any new employer is aware of your continuous growth.

So, now you know the seven secrets to a successful CV - good luck in your job search! Take a look at our vacancies, subscribe for job alerts or recommend a friend – you could earn up to £1,000

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