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What makes a great CV?

Posted in Candidates on Apr 10, 2012 by Richard Hayden

As recruiters we are often asked "What makes a great CV?"   So, we have decided to write a series of short easy to follow articles which go through the various sections that make up your CV from employment history to listing your skills, helping you get one step closer to your perfect job.


Step 1 - Employment History

You've just seen an advertisement for your dream job that you would give your left arm for and then you realise that you will need to tackle your CV.  The mere prospect alone of wading through your employment history can be off putting but it needn’t be.  The best CV’s aren’t long or have lists of qualifications, they show potential.

Your CV is an introduction to you, it’s a talking point for interviews and recruiters.  Employers do not expect you to be able to fit your life’s experience into a couple of pieces of A4 but they do expect you to be able to highlight relevant skills and examples of you demonstrating them. Easier said than done I hear you saying?

The first step is to read the job description thoroughly and make notes next to the points they are asking for i.e. skills, qualifications. When have you used this system or when did I demonstrate this skill?

This is something we all naturally do when we first look at a job description, it’s how we know we are interested in the role and that we could do the job. It may help to talk it through with someone, you can often remember things in conversation that you may otherwise feel like you were clutching at straws on your own.

Once you’ve got notes of things you’ve done which demonstrate these skills you need to organise them into bullet points under the relevant employers.  This will now form the basis of your CV.  The next step is to flesh it out a little and transform the couple of words you noted down into clearly written, well formed sentences.

Once you have written each bullet point, consider the type of language you have used.  Is it positive?  Negative?  In-different?  Using positive language such as: achieved, contributed, demonstrated etc. places your experiences and you into a positive light but don’t overdo it.

Congratulations you are one step closer to your next career move!

CV template

Top 10 tips for writting the perfect CV

Covering letters

Understanding each stage of a job application


We would like to hear your views on any of the points raised in this article, please feel free to leave a comment or email us directly at


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