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Nov 10 2020

Top 10 tips for writing a CV

Woman concentrating on work

At Kingfisher, we receive over 500,000 applications a year! Although we don't claim to be the only experts when it comes to looking through a CV, we do know what we are looking for and how we can use our knowledge to help you!

Below, we have pulled together our top 10 tips for writing a CV:

  • Keep it short and simple – Two pages is all you need to make an impact. With high volumes of applicants for roles, now more than ever, focus on the relevant and important experience and save some extra detail for the interview.
  • Start with your most recent experience – It is likely that your most recent roles and responsibilities are what your potential employer is most interested in, so start with those.
  • Tailor your CV to the role – Whilst this may mean your CV may differ for every application and be time consuming for you, the smallest tweaks can make the biggest difference. This will show your enthusiasm for the role and emphasize your relevant experience.
  • Make it personal – State the most important information on the first page which includes a personal profile. There may be hundreds of people out there with similar experience but there is only one you. Make it personal to stand out!
  • Layout and format – Ensure your formatting is correct and the layout is easy to read. The clearer the layout and format, the easier it is for your recruiter to read through at pace and to get a great understanding for your experience.
  • Mind the gaps – Gaps in a CV are fine as long as they are explained. If you took some time out for a career break, studying, travelling or if you were unemployed for a period of time, then include it within your work history and state the reasons for the gaps.
  • Spell check –  Mistakes on your CV can be seen as a lack of attention to detail – a key quality needed for most roles! Also double check that your contact details are correct, a mistyped telephone number can be the difference between receiving feedback or not.
  • Consider tone – All CVs should be written professionally, however you might choose to be more informal or formal depending on the company or the role you're applying for. For example, you may speak differently when applying for a role in a small startup vs a role as a CEO at a bank.
  • Include achievements – This doesn't have to be limited to academic qualifications, this can include other courses you have done in a previous role or independently. To further impress, include numbers or percentages against your achievements to really showcase your abilities. For example, if you worked in a sales role previously then let them know what your sales increase was year on year.
  • Include hobbies and interests – All companies look for somebody with relevant experience but it's equally important to showcase your personality through personal interests. After all they are looking to recruit a person, not a robot!

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