5 Important Tips on Writing the Perfect CV

Written by Sophie Jones

Tips for a Perfect CV

Will you ever go back to your old job? 

With British jobs more at risk than ever, it’s crucial to make sure you can swim above the competition if you need to.

The COVID-19 outbreak has certainly greatly affected the British work force, with jobs becoming extremely unstable. It’s times like this when doing the simple things, like perfecting your CV, may mean the difference between whether your family will cope or not in a few months.

So is your CV good enough? A career-expert gives his tips…

1. Be an Achiever, not a ‘Doer’.

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see applicants make by far. It’s crazy how a simple change of passive language to action language can influence an employer at a much higher degree. Here’s what to do:

Don’t convey yourself as a ‘doer’ who does everything properly.

Instead, focus on what you’ve Achieved.

Take an example. Which sentence sounds better:
  • Doer: “Polite and engaging with customers”
  • Achiever: “Excelled customer satisfaction, leading to a 20% increase in company reviews”

2. Every negative should be reciprocated.

This is a simple tip that can be the difference between an employer strongly considering you, or disregarding you – yet so many people get this wrong, or ignore it altogether.

When writing your CV, remember the psychology of the employer: if he’s reading hundreds of CVs a day his mind will be in scanning mode.

When he looks a your CV, all he’s going to think is “this is good” or “this is bad”.

So you want to remove any trace of a negative in your CV. This can be achieved by:

  • Turning your negative qualities into good ones:
    • Dis-organised→ Creative
    • Impatient → Passionate
    • Shy → Reflective
    • Inconsistent → Flexible
    • Irresponsible → Adventurous
    • Arrogant → Confident
    • Boring → Responsible
    • Negative → Realistic
    • Weak → Humble

  • Changing your address (e.g. exclude bad locations if possible)
  • Excluding nonessential BTECs or similar
  • Stop being ‘realistic’ – the employer doesn’t care (but sound realistic)

3. Format it PROPERLY

You may have seen articles online telling you to format your CV ‘to reflect your personality’, with crazy fonts, colours, and pictures.

Yeah… no. Don’t do that.

While that CV may get you your local paper-round job when you’re 16, it has no place in the professional work industry. In-fact, the very structure of your CV, and the fonts/images used, are the downfall of 75% of CVs (more on this below… stay tuned, it’s important!)

If you want to structure your CV right, here are the important rules you need to follow:

  • No crazy fonts – they’ll confuse human eyes, and the ATS.
  • Write a CV, not an auto-biography.
  • One image of you (if any).
  • Use titles correctly – include proper terminology like:
    • Personal Summary
    • Contact Information
    • Work Experience
    • Education
  • Make use of bullet points – they’re sure to capture an employer’s attention better than a long paragraph.

4. Have it checked.

This may sound obvious, but are you actually going to do it?

I understand, we all get an uneasy feeling of someone judging our days of work of our arrogant self-report. And what’s worse is when they completely disagree with your best bits!

The truth is, you should have your CV checked, but you should only have it checked by the right person.

Take advantage of free online scans, you can get a report back within as little as 2 days giving you amazing tips on how to improve your CV. It’s your CV, your future, do what you can to succeed.

5. Think Win/Win

Think Win/Win – how so? This is where is get’s interesting…

As I mentioned earlier, a staggering 75% of CVs are never seen… 
Well, 93% of Hiring Managers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). 
You read more about what an ATS is here, but I’ll break it down simply for you:
  • An ATS is software that will scan your CV
  • The scan includes a keyword search, data parsing, and an automatic ‘management score’.
  • If your CV is incorrectly formatted, or has an incorrect keyword density, your CV will never be seen.
  • Only 25% of applicants get through an ATS scan.
In short: your CV needs to be human friendly, and robot friendly.

BONUS: Your CV Checklist

Keep in mind this: if you apply all of these, your CV willstand out.
So to give you the best chances possible, we’ve created a Perfect CV Checklist for when you’re editing you CV.
P.S. The checklist includes 2 exclusive BONUS tips!

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