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5 tips for CV success

Published on: 15 Mar 2023


When it comes to applying for new roles, you don’t have long to impress.

In fact, it’s widely reported that people spend no more than seven seconds reading over the average candidate’s CV.

So, when your application lands in their inbox, how can you ensure your CV impresses in such a short space of time?

Here’s our advice on how to set your CV up for success…


Keep it short

Typically, it’s good to keep your CV to no more than two pages, but this can depend on how much information you have to share.

Ask yourself the question, ‘is this sentence relevant to the role that I’m applying for?’ If you find yourself saying no, then take it out.

Regarding your qualifications, be specific - add start and end dates, qualification types and grades – and include the most recent and most relevant if it means you can save space. 


Tailor you CV to show you’re right for the role

Tweak the information in your CV to include relevant examples to demonstrate your suitability to each role you’re applying for.

Your CV is a great tool you can use to match up your skills and experience with each job spec. If you find that your experience doesn’t exactly marry up with what they’re looking for, highlight your transferrable skills and how they will be a great fit for the role you’re applying for.


Format your CV in a sensible way

Creating a structure that’s easy to read, has clear headings and highlights the key points in a visually appealing way is vital to a successful CV.

Remember to bring the information you want employers to the fore, and always use a logical order throughout.

For example, if you haven’t got a lot of previous experience, make sure your personal statement, skills and qualifications are clear and well-formatted.

If you have experience that’s closely related to the role you’re applying for, things like your education and skills can be left until later on.

Structuring your CV in the way allows recruiters and hiring manager to find what they’re looking for quickly, without wasting time searching for the relevant info.


Back up attributes and experience with specifics

Being overly vague in your experience, what you’ve achieved, and what you’re looking for isn’t helpful, especially since you’re trying to capture someone’s attention quickly.

Being specific and quantitative where possible is far better than being generic in the information you’re including.

Recruiters get bored of reading through the same old stock phrases and are far more interested in identifying exactly how you’ve positively impacted the business in your current/last role.


Get someone to check your CV

There’s nothing worse than coming across spelling and grammatical mistakes in a CV – it’s even worse if you include things like ‘great attention to detail’ in it too!

Having a second (or third) pair of eyes give your CV the once over and offer up advice to improve it is hugely beneficial.

It can be difficult to spot any flaws in your CV, especially if you’ve spent a good amount of time working on it,