4 Top Tips For Writing A Winning CV
Your CV will often be the first point of contact with a potential employer or recruiter, so you need to make a good impression if you want to secure a role.
A CV is your chance to sell yourself as a strong candidate before you even enter an interview situation, which is why it’s vital to use the opportunity wisely.
You’ll inevitably be competing with multiple applicants during a job search, and a polished CV can help you instantly get ahead of the competition. If your CV feels professional, persuasive, and clear, you’ll give yourself the best chance of receiving an invitation to interview.
Let’s run through 4 expert tips for writing a winning CV and outline how you can position yourself ahead of rival applicants.
1. Write a compelling professional summary
Include a summary at the top of your CV that acts as a brief introduction for an employer.
Sum up your relevant industry experience, qualifications, and career aspirations for the future. You should always aim to tailor your CV to different businesses and job openings, and this summary section is no exception - think about what a specific employer would like to see in a candidate or ask your recruiter for their recommendations.
A snappy, confident professional summary will help to set the tone for the rest of your CV.
2. Highlight skills connected to your desired role
You may have skills in many different professional areas, but you have limited time to sell yourself in a CV, which means you need to quickly narrow down your broader skill set.
Both recruiters and employers will want to see relevant skills in your CV, tailored to the role that you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a job as an accountant, don’t spend time outlining skills that aren’t relevant to the position - instead, think carefully about the skills that make you a qualified and capable accountant, and make them a central focus.
If you’re struggling to identify the best skills to include, take a closer look at the official job description for a role.
These descriptions will usually explain what’s expected of a successful applicant, and you can use this information to shape the content of your CV and prioritise your skills. You should also utilise specific words or phrases found in the job ad to align yourself more closely with the role and present yourself as a strong candidate.
3. Provide detailed (and relevant) work experience
It’s easy to overlook the ‘work experience’ section of your CV, but this is a fantastic opportunity to show an employer how you’ve developed as a professional.
While there’s no need to include mountains of details about previous jobs, you should always aim to include:
- The names of previous employers
- Accurate employment dates
- Official job titles
- Bullet points on key roles/responsibilities
Not only does previous work experience add credibility to your CV, but it can also help you to tell a story about the trajectory of your career. Use this section to show how you’ve gathered relevant industry experience and built up your skill set over time.
4. Don’t overlook the basics
While technical expertise and professional experience are hugely valuable, never underestimate the importance of CV basics.
For instance, spelling and grammar errors may seem insignificant, but they can show a lack of care and attention, which isn’t promising for potential employers.
You should also think carefully about the formatting of your CV. Employers and recruiters will often be working through piles of different CVs, so block text and chunky paragraphs aren’t going to be appealing - make sure your formatting is clear, streamlined, and easy to digest.
On top of this, it’s extremely important to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and reflective of the skills/experience mentioned in your CV. Employers and recruiters will often take a close look at your LinkedIn page alongside your CV, so make sure that you’ve covered any gaps, updated your details, and built a profile that feels polished and professional.
Finally, always include visible contact details on your CV. The easier you make it for hiring staff to contact you, the better!
Your CV is a golden opportunity to make a good impression on recruiters and employers, so make sure you’re always following these best practices. For more information on crafting a winning cover letter, take a look at our comprehensive guide here.
Looking for guidance while creating your CV? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Our recruitment experts specialise in helping candidates to write CVs that are highly persuasive, impressive, and effective. If you’re searching for exciting roles in the engineering or technology industries, we can help to propel your career in the right direction.