CV Writing Help

We are often asked for tips about how to write a great CV.  We don’t believe in tips. You simply need to put your audience first when writing a CV, the same as you would for a business letter, report or article.

You have to ask yourself: What does the audience want?  That’s the 64 million dollar question.  Unfortunately, every reader comes at a CV slightly differently. Recruiters come at a CV looking for brand names that give instant credibility to candidates, along with experience and buzzwords that directly speak to a client brief. The hiring manager will look for the same, but many will want to see details that recruiters will not appreciate. Hiring managers are looking for someone who can work in their type of organisation, contribute in broader ways, or bring diversity to their team.

In either case, the basic guidance to candidates would be to:

1. Understand the job and focus on those aspects that are really important, in most cases captured in the responsibilities and some of the key competencies.

2. Research the company to understand the situation they are facing, calling them if necessary.  Your target role is not operating in a vacuum – the business will have short-term challenges and you need to show you have what it takes to meet those challenges.

3. Tell your story in a way that evidences your capacity to manage the nature and scale of the role, as well as confront the challenges they are likely to face.

Then you need to make sure the hygiene factors are taken care of: (i) make the format of your CV easy to read; (ii)  avoid jargon that will simply confound or confuse, but do use industry terms that are understood and referenced in these types of roles; and (iii) ensure the English is perfect so there will be no doubt about your standards.

Beyond these, most other CV problems relate to how to cope with patchy career history or changing career. In these circumstances, some thinking and creativity is required. For advice on this feel free to check our career change and employment gaps advice pages.

If you wish to discuss your CV with us, please feel free to give us a call on 0845 459 3410 or email: to discuss your particular challenge. We help many clients resolve these issues.