Your CV is an employer’s first introduction to your skills, your approach and document presentation skills. On average employers spend 20 seconds reading through a CV and with the increase in online advertising, employers are often faced with dozens of applications for one advertised position. Make yours count.

The team at Howett Thorpe read 100’s of CV’s every day. It is easy for even the best people to get it wrong. We have all put our heads together to list our top CV tips for 2013.

Top 10 CV Tips

  1. Keep personal details at the top – Name, address/location, telephone and email. It is not necessary to write Curriculum Vitae.
  2. Spelling and grammar – Poor writing shows a lack of care. Spell check, proof read and ask a third party to check your grammar.
  3. Writing lots, but saying nothing – Why use 20 words when 5 will do? Focus on the key elements of your experience and achievements – keep it focused with well-placed bullet points. Be clear and concise. Don’t refer to yourself in the first person and the third can sound forced.
  4. Design – Keep the layout simple. Don’t try and be original and play about too much it makes information hard to find and the reader will lose interest if they have to work hard to find what they want. List experience in reverse order.
  5. Highlighting duties & achievements – Do not write a job description or worse cut and paste your old job descriptions! Prioritise what you actually achieved. What are you most proud of? Think about your personal contribution.
  6. Company Information – Provide brief information under the Companies you have worked for as to what industry they are in, Turnover, UK, Europe and US background/ownership.
  7. The 2-page rule –If you are a recent graduate with a few years commercial experience your CV should be less than 2 pages however if you have significant professional experience reducing CV length and leaving out critical achievements could be detrimental. 3 pages at a more senior level will produce a more balanced CV.
  8. Leaving out information – Don’t leave gaps. Don’t leave out Jobs; employers always check dates. Gap’s make recruiters nervous – give brief explanations for time away from employment.
  9. LinkedIn – Make sure that your profile is up to date, accurate and consistent with the CV.
  10. Make sure your interests are interesting – If they’re not, leave them out.

For a more detailed and free personal appraisal of your CV please contact us on 01252 718777.