Simple and effective ways to build a strong CV

What does your CV mean to you? To me; it is equally as important as our preparation and the way we dress for an interview.

It can also be as important as your experience when applying for a new role. It completes and promotes “you” as a package.

Your CV is the first impression you will make and one which will determine what an organisation will think of you, from the first moment. It is a representation of your experience, skills, personality, attention to detail and work ethic. In this age, organisations are flooded with tens, hundreds and occasionally thousands of applicants for one vacancy.

How can you stand out amongst candidates with similar backgrounds, on paper?

We at Greenhill Group have recruited in our local region, across the UK and internationally for over 15 years. We have seen, formatted, restructured and helped craft thousands of CV’s and we have a formula proven to increase your chances of being considered for the role, often without a cover letter.

Our formula includes key points on what your CV must include and how you should write it:

What to include:

1. Personal Details

This should be clear and at the top of your CV. Whether it is in the centre, right or left side of the page, you need to include your name, address, telephone number and email (professional). If you have an up to date LinkedIn profile, then consider including your profile URL. When considering including your personal social media profiles, read our article Social Media: Your Profile Counts! post for several hints and tips which will allow you to concisely put your best foot forward.

2. Personal Profile

An important insight into the type of person you are, what drives you, your goals alongside a short summary on your skills and experience, works. It could also add value to include what your are looking for specifically, but tailor this to each role you apply for. We recommend this is no longer than 5-6 lines.

3. Key Skills

Include key words; it’s also a way in which recruiters can find you when they are searching for someone with your background. If your CV is on a job board or professional membership group, you will be found with relevant and precise key words. Remember skills can be your accuracy, attention to detail, how you handle pressure and multiple tasks and your problem solving nature. If you include a skill please be prepared to demonstrate the truth behind this at interview.

4. Employment History

Employers want to see consistency and detail when analysing your job titles, organisations worked for and dates (as precise as possible). It’s a good idea to comprise 1-2 lines on the company itself, to set the context and inform the reader. If there are any gaps in your employment history, add detail to why, how long and what you did in that time that was productive.

When considering your responsibilities, focus on the impact you had on the role and the team.

Include precise and relevant detail regarding the job you are applying for. If you can include valuable metrics, do so, as this highlights achievements and showcases your attention to detail.

5. Achievements

This is an area in which you can shine and create a base for why you will be a success in the role. It’s also a good indication of your passion, your commitment and personality alongside what you are proud of. Any precise analytics, statistics, metrics or examples relevant to the role will add value.

6. Training/Qualifications – separate to your education

Adding extra curricular or out of work activities you have taken part in, demonstrates your commitment to your personal development and desire to learn and adapt. Include language skills, whether native or beginner level.

7. Education

Details regarding your university degree, college studies, school and topics you have studied also indicate the path you have taken to get where you are now. Avoid including in depth details, stick to a grade and dissertation title.

8. Interests

This is an area in which you can display your hobbies and your time spent out of the work place. Employers often look for dynamic, bright and energetic employees.

Be professional and allow your personality to shine through.

Important points to remember:

  1. This is the first and last chance to make a first impression on the prospective employer.
  2. Think outside of the box and be bold… What will other candidates not think of?
  3. Be relevant, concise and tailor your CV for each role.
  4. We suggest your CV is no longer than 3 pages.
  5. Keep your CV up to date.
  6. Check it, check it again and then recheck it. This includes your grammar, spelling, vocabulary, format, font sizes, font styles and headings alongside the content itself. Keep it consistent and be aware of how companies brand themselves!

To understand how Greenhill Recruitment can support you in your job search, contact us today. or 01223 813 100.