By Julie Black

After you’ve applied for that job, chances are your CV will land with me or one of my colleagues, for review. It’s a labour intensive part of our job and one which is afforded dedicated time, to ensure rigor and careful scrutiny, whilst also maintaining total candidate confidentiality.

Our role is the gatekeeper, screening out candidates who don’t meet client and position specifications, so you do want your CV to make the best impression possible.

So, having reviewed more than my fair share of CVs, I do have a few insights to share:

  • Be concise, try and keep it to a 6 page maximum.
  • A small photo of yourself on a CV is ok, large ones are off-putting.
  • Grammar and spelling errors are a big turn off, particularly on the first page. Do get someone to proof read for you.
  • Make sure the font is easy to read, not too small or too fancy.
  • Employment history summaries (1 line per job) on the first page are great, they make our job much easier AND more importantly, make it easier for our busy clients to see your experience at a glance.
  • Personal statements on your CV aren’t essential, that’s what a good cover letter is for.
  • If you’ve worked overseas, state the country your job was in.
  • Dates you were in a role really do matter.
  • Make sure CV dates and LinkedIn ones match – we will check.
  • Essential components include:
  • Name of company - Include 2 lines describing the company (ie what it does/makes), the industry they are in, and key dimensions if known, eg: revenue, total staff etc
  • Dates worked there
  • Position title
  • Outline your key responsibilities – what you were expected to do/responsible for doing. (no more than 4 or 5 bullet points).
  • Outline your key achievements – what you actually did, and proof of your actual results - in all areas of responsibility. This bit really matters, it’s the evidence of your success.

I’ll be focusing on the details of your last 5 roles and/or last 10 years work experience, so you can leave out the details of your responsibilities in that first job out of university.

Ensure you’re giving us enough information for us to make a positive decision, but leave us wanting a little more, you can share the rest at interview.

Julie's original article on LinkedIn can be found here.
Posted in: News

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