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CV Tips

Often, an employer or recruiter looking through CVs will uses a list of criteria to narrow down a shortlist for a particular role.

To ensure your CV is included in the shortlist you need to make it easy to read, include the most relevant information from your experience and relate your skills to the job description well.

Below is a list of general tips that you should consider when writing your CV to give you every chance of success when applying for a job


Write your CV with the job description in mind

1. By thoroughly researching the company, and by paying attention to key words in the job description, you’ll a get good sense of the organisation's needs. Use this knowledge to your advantage and write your CV to compliment this.

2. To help tailor it you can incorporate keywords in your CV that you find in the job description or that are common to your role of interest.

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Highlight achievements

1. Where possible include your most relevant achievements that show how you successfully handled similar situations to what you would in the job you are applying for.

2. When listing your achievments also demonstrate how they made a difference.

3. Use numbers and percentages to show measurable success and illustrate how you added value to organisations you have worked for.

4. Avoid exaggerating or misrepresenting your accomplishments and make sure you don't claim complete responsibility for team achievements. If you get invited to the interview stage you will need to be able to explain your involvement in detail.

5. Include some interests and achievements you have outside of work in a different section, whether it be hobbies, passions, or charity and volunatry work.

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Work History

1. When listing your work history and educational details focus on the last 5 years in chronological order from most recent.

2. Explain any gaps you have in your employment, be succinct and honest.

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General writing style

1. When writing a about your experience, consider avoiding long lists of ‘responsibilities included’ statements. Instead, focus on your actual achievements, and use dynamic action words or phrases like 'created', 'enhanced', 'saved', 'launched, 'negotiated', ‘designed’, ‘coached’, ‘assessed’, ‘undertook’, ‘supervised’, ‘organised’, ‘managed’, ‘transformed’, etc.

2. Be ruthless when reviewing your CV and leave out any irrelevant or negative information.

3. Avoid using casual abbreviations, overly descriptive language or jargon as it detracts from the quality of the information in your CV.

4. Check thoroughly for spelling and grammatical errors every time you make changes.

5. Ask someone else to read your CV and give you feedback.

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Keep in mind that some interviewers use CVs as a guide for asking questions in the interview. It is important to know the information that you have in your CV well, and to be open and honest about your employment history.

In an interview it is acceptable to have a copy of your CV in front of you, but we would advise that you refer to it only when you need to.


Find out more about how to write a CV, or CV formatting and templates by following the links.

How to write a CV CV formatting

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