In the life of a recruiter, we get asked the question – how do I make my CV stand out? What can I do to improve my CV? In recruiting for roles across the Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Finance and Supply Chain industries – we have found a good CV hard to come by! But perhaps this needs to change in a candidate strong market?


If you are currently seeking employment, you need to invest the time (and energy!) in writing a good CV. A CV is not just a document. It’s a key. A key to unlock the next step in your career. Think of a CV as a book. How often do you pick up a book and if it hasn’t captivated you within the first chapter; do you put it down or do you keep reading? We can guarantee you that many of you are like us…...if it hasn’t captivated you in the first few pages;  then you put it down. And I’m afraid that is exactly what some line managers do when looking at a poorly executed CV! 


Writing a CV is an art. It needs to make an impression It needs to challenge the reader to keep reading. But you don’t have to pay the earth to get the professionals to write it for you. You just need to remember a few key things:


  • Keep it short and sweet – no longer than 4 pages max


  • If you have a long career history – don’t write about every role; put it in a table if need be with date, role title and company worked with


  • Focus on your five most recent roles. And in this, provide six bullet points of key responsibilities and then list another 6-8 of key achievements. (And no more!)


  • Write your career objective - but keep this to a short paragraph


  • Make sure the dates of employment are correct (yes, attention to detail is important!)


  • Tailor your CV to the role applied to. If it is a specialised role within Learning and Development or Product Management – make sure your CV stands out in this field


Remember, your CV is not a long portfolio or proposal detailing everything you have accomplished in your working life!  A CV is meant to be short, sweet, accurate and concise... It’s just the door opener! Then once the door is opened – you can unravel that employment proposal and everything else that needs to be unpackaged!


So hopefully after reading this, it may have challenged you to go back and pick up your CV again. Does it captivate your audience? Is it short and concise?  Does it list your key objectives and your main contributions to previous roles? Is it tailored to the specific role applied for?


A CV is a reflection of your own personal brand and employment history… invest time into it and be proud of it!