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How To Write that Winning CV

How To Write that Winning CV

There is stiff competition in today’s market for most roles today so it’s important to know how to get your CV noticed. A strong CV makes a big difference to your job hunt so investing your time into creating the perfect CV is a valuable exercise. It can be the difference between success and failure. See below our Do’s and Dont’s for a Strong CV:



Research: Find out exactly what the employer is looking for in the role you are applying for, then write a tailored CV that exactly matches their requirements.

Evidence: Prove what a great candidate you are by including examples of achievements, improvements you made at work or problems you solved.  Use positive language. when describing your work achievements use power words such as ‘launched’, ‘managed’, ‘coordinated’, ‘motivated’, ‘supervised’, “liaised” and ‘achieved’.

Format: Place the important information up-front. Put experience and education achievements in reverse chronological order starting with your current job and working backwards. Use a clear, uncluttered layout, without too many special effects – keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to make the CV a quick read.

Two pages: Aim for a two-page CV. Any more than this and you are likely to be including information that isn’t relevant. Explain all significant breaks in your career or education

Proofreading: Thoroughly check your CV for errors and ensure that what you have written makes sense. Then ask someone to double-check it for you.


Things to avoid on your cv:

Being Too generic – Many candidates write a broad CV because they want to keep their options open. It’s important to tailor your cv to the role you are applying for.

Errors – You might be surprised how many CVs have errors on them and they can often be rejected on that basis alone. Your CV must be impeccably presented if you want to demonstrate your professionalism and attention to detail. Always use spellcheck and ask someone else to check it over for you.

Negative information – Your CV should include only positive information. Never criticise a previous employer or refer to difficulties or disappointments. Never ever lie on your cv – employers have ways of checking information is true.

Poor language – The use of jargon or clichés can sabotage the chances of even the most capable of candidates. Instead of using the ‘I’ pronoun, such as I did this, I did that’, use positive action words to lead bullet points e.g. ‘Initiated this, created that”, which will seem much more dynamic. This will give a very energetic feel to your CV and help reinforce the message that you are a ‘can-do’ type of candidate.

Software issues – When you apply online for a role on sites such as Indeed etc, your CV is scanned by softwar.  Formatting options like columns, shading, boxes etc may look nice, but they could interfere with the software’s ability to store the information on your CV. So make your CV as plain as possible or if you are uploading a pdf file, make sure it is compatible with the software. Online recruiters will use key words to search for CVs containing skills and qualifications, so ensure that your CV includes the relevant key words likely to be used for the role you are applying for.

Salary – Don’t include salary information and expectations. Leave this for negotiations after your interview.

If you would like to receive honest and open feedback on your CV contact us here on careers@totalcarerecruitment – we can assist you on all steps to a successful career path.