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Writing a Killer CV

Cv Writing Tips

Nicola Knight Clear & Transparent Recruitment, blog, career-advice...

With many people applying for the same role, it is so important to have a CV that really helps you stand out from the crowd. Quite often we receive CV’s that are out of date, very generic, in no particular order, or that simply do not sell the person.

We want our applicants to think of a shop window… 



What does this shop window design say to you?


A review of this shop window showed that it was unorganised, dated, objects that looked like Easter eggs (although it wasn’t Easter), the clothes didn’t fit the mannequins, and the selection of clothing did not represent what the shop was all about.


Now, look at this shop window design…



So much more time and effort has been spent on this design. It was decorated for Christmas, so tailored with all the detail, gift ideas, and party clothing perfect for the occasion.


When applying for a job, your CV is that shop window. 


If your CV is disorganised, plain, missing in parts, poor spelling and grammar, generalistic, or too long-winded, it is irrelevant how amazing your experience and/or qualifications might actually be as it is likely that your CV will be disregarded from the offset. Your CV should also be tailored for each job you apply for, the theme is key.


You need to make your CV really stand out. With many people applying for the same position, why should you be selected for an interview?


Here are our tips for writing a killer CV:

  1. Use a great, simple, and minimalistic template. We have one available for you here, should you wish to use this.
  2. What is the job description? Take note of keywords and responsibilities and match them to your skills, experience, and achievements.
  3. If you follow a traditional format, always work in chronological order for work and education, from the most recent, and back. If you follow a modern format you should focus on key skills and achievements that have been applicable as a whole.
  4. The format should be as follows:
    1. Personal information - Include name, email address, a phone number, and if you have a great social presence that can demonstrate your achievements, add your social media links too.
    2. Personal Statement - This is where you sell yourself! Do not use cliches here, for example, “I am outgoing and confident, I work well in a team and on my own”. Instead, tell us about what you are good at, but more importantly, how they can help you perform brilliantly in the role you are applying for. If no experience is required, please be sure to include as much detail about why you are the perfect candidate. If the role requires high levels of energy, talk about hobbies and interests that match this provided it is relevant to the role.
    3. Work Experience - The same as your personal statement, do not simply list all of your roles and responsibilities. Instead, tell us what results were achieved, starting with the most recent. For example, you work at a Children’s Residential Home, explain how the child has benefited from you working with them… confidence, academically, limited temper outbursts, what did you do to work with the child, etc.
    4. Education - Again, talk through your highest level of education and work back. If you sat your GCSE’s 20 years ago, for example, there is no need to list all GCSE’s and grades. For example, simplify with 9 GCSE’s grades A - D, including Mathematics, English, and Science.
    5. Include anything else you might feel is relevant, from training courses, personal development, voluntary work, and interests and hobbies (if not included in the personal statement).
    6. References available on request. Due to Data Protection, it is safer to include this statement instead of providing personal details.
  5. Consider the font and alignment of your CV. Nothing too fancy making it difficult to read. 
  6. Simplicity is the key, whilst having the WOW factor in your content. Keep your CV relevant and punchy. Use the keywords from the job/person description and sell yourself. If you need to include more information, don’t add this to your CV, instead write a cover letter to explain things further. But again, ensure that it is relevant and necessary. Don’t talk for the sake of talking.
  7. Personalise every CV/Cover Letter for every position you apply for.
  8. Proof-read everything and remember you are that shop window! Is what you are reading attractive enough to sell you?

You need to stand out from the crowd! Remember to present yourself in the best possible way and you will have the killer CV to land you that interview! 


If you have the relevant experience and qualifications to match our live vacancies but you struggle with CV writing still, please get in touch with the team and they will gladly help you.


Our live vacancies can be found here.