A jobseeker’s CV is their passport to a successful future; fail to get it right and you’ll struggle to climb the career ladder. Depending on the industry, CVs come in all shapes and sizes, but what exactly constitutes a successful one?


1: Layout and length

The average time it takes a recruiter to look at a CV is 5-7 seconds, which means that you don’t have long to impress. Keep it succinct using bullet points and don’t make it any longer than two pages. Recruiters often look through hundreds of CVs each week and a text heavy essay about your entire degree won’t stand out. When it comes to font just keep it simple, this isn’t the time to experiment. 


2: Never send the same CV

No CV you submit should ever be the same. This is often forgotten and is therefore the Achilles heel of a lazy, lacklustre job seeker. Cutting corners simply won’t go unnoticed by a recruiter and they won’t be impressed by a generic CV that doesn’t directly address their vacancy.


3: Skills-based

When it comes to the nitty-gritty, skills-based CVs are often the most effective. Don’t just outline a list of duties you fulfilled in your last job, tell them what you learnt from each responsibility. Completing a dissertation is great but show how it reinforced your analytical mind and affirmed your ability to meet strict deadlines.  Using action verbs such as consolidated, executed, condensed and observed give you a punchy way of stating skills you acquired throughout your past experiences.


4: Use job specification

Highlight transferable skills that directly relate to the job you are applying for. Quite literally look through the attributes your employer is seeking, then demonstrate how you attained them and ways in which you can apply them to your new role. Using the job specification will offer you a helping hand, so don’t let it go to waste.  


5: Check spelling and grammar

Check, check and check again. Jobseekers only shoot themselves in the foot when they submit a CV full of typos and sloppy grammar. It’s an obvious mistake to make yet countless people frustrate employers each year with simple mistakes. Getting someone to read through your CV and check for errors will spare you the embarrassment of a rogue apostrophe or an unwarranted comma. Little mistakes can make a big difference, so don’t run the risk of jeopardising your chances. 


typing a CV