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CV Tips

Selling yourself effectively


In a competitive job market, a well organised and presented CV can make all the difference in getting you that job interview. Your CV is an essential marketing tool and is the first step in selling yourself successfully to a potential employer. If you want to stand out from the crowd, it is well worth thinking carefully about how you can best sell your skills and experience.

See our seven steps below in writing that winning CV

Think about how it looks

First impressions last, choose an easy to read font, such as Arial and a size of 10 or 11. Check that you have used the same style throughout so the reader can quickly identify headings and content. Leaving small gaps between sections will make it easier to read.

Include a profile statement

Appearing at the start of your CV before you list your work experience, this is your big chance to catch the recruiter’s interest. Explain in 2-3 sentences how your skills, experience and industry knowledge would be attractive to potential clients. 

Review content for each application

It will be a good investment of your time if you can tailor your CV for each specific job application. One cap does not usually fit all. Often it will pay dividends if you can highlight your most relevant skills and experience, rather than submitting a generic CV for every role. 

Back up with examples

If you don’t let them know, recruiters can only guess at the impact you had in any particular role. So don’t leave things open to speculation. Show off your achievements with examples.

Be concise

There is debate about the ideal length of a CV. Technical CVs tend to be longer by nature but as a general rule you should try to keep to a CV of 2-3 pages.  Try to use key words to make an impact in your sentences. For example, “I worked on the SAP HR module” could become “Responsible for the successful implementation of the SAP HR module”.

Check for errors

Spelling and grammar mistakes look sloppy and can be very off-putting to a potential employer. Don’t just rely on the spellchecker, read it through to check the grammar and spelling.

What to avoid

Don’t leave chronological gaps in your employment history. Avoid giving details of your salary or contract rates on the CV as this can easily lead to misinterpretation. Having a photograph of yourself on your CV is common practice in some cultures. However, our advice is that a photograph doesn't add value to the CV and can sometimes work against you.

Also view our top tips for interviews »