Winning them over with the perfect CV

A CV is an employer’s first port of call when it comes to sifting through job applicants, so it’s understandable that it  causes so much stress in hopeful candidates who are determined to make a good first impression. Knowing just what to include in your CV can be difficult, so here are some basic rules of thumb which should always be considered.

Keep it to the point. Make sure everything is carefully written to portray you in the best possible light, and remember that less is more. Do not let your CV exceed 2 pages in length, as no employer will have the time or patience to read the whole document.
Include some kind of personal profile that explicitly details why you would be perfect for the role. This is particularly important if you’re not submitting a covering letter, as it is the one place where you can directly address the employer and sing your own praises.
Tailor each individual CV to each individual application. If you’re responding to a vacancy which detailed the employer’s particular requirements in an employee, be clear in explaining how you exceed all of those requirements and more. Also think about how you can portray previous work roles and personal skills in a light that is most relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Don’t just think about work experience, think about relevant life experience. If you’ve had particular life experiences which have furnished you with skills that would be valuable to the workplace, point this out in your CV. This could be anything from time spent studying another language to something particularly challenging that you have overcome. Including this information gives the employer an insight into your abilities, and provides them with an interesting talking point if you’re called in for an interview.
Be positive and assertive. It can sometimes feel awkward to boast about your own abilities, but you are your only advocate when it comes to job applications so you have to be prepared to convince the employer of your value. What’s more, you will be facing competition from other candidates who are unafraid to sing their own praises, so it’s important that you’re working with a level playing field.
Ultimately, all applications will require something a little different from your CV. The key is to remember to treat each one as a new opportunity to show off your skills and suitability, and you can’t go far wrong. You can find plenty of opportunities on sites like, whether you’re searching for jobs in Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh or many other areas. Send out plenty of applications, and remember to treat your CV as the best possible weapon you have in your arsenal.

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