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How to Write a Successful CV

18 December 2018
Besma Whayeb
How to Write a Great CV | In Demand by AdView

A good CV will bring you one step closer to landing your dream job. While your cover letter will outline why you want the job, your CV will show that you’re right for the job through your work experience, education, and more.

A CV (which stands for curriculum vitae, and can sometimes be referred to as a resume) is the document which details your accomplishments leading up to your current job application.

In this guide, find out how to write an excellent CV that will improve your chances of getting hired into a UK job.

1. Research the relevant job market

Rather than start your CV from scratch, there are a few quick ways to speed up the process – and improve your CV greatly.

The first is to research your job market, and find out what employers are looking for:

  1. Search for your desired job role
  2. Look through relevant adverts to find out what the requirements are
  3. Use these requirements as a guide for what to include in your CV

You can also use CV templates to improve the format of your CV.

We will be bringing out many industry-related templates in the near future. These will ensure you include the right key words, values, and personal qualities for your job sector.


2. Structure your CV properly

With recruiters and HR executives looking through many, many CVs, it’s important yours doesn’t fall down at the first hurdle.

How long should my CV be?

Ideally, a CV is no longer that two pages of A4 paper. If you’re applying for a specialist role, this could stretch to three, but the best CVs are kept short.

What should be included in my CV?

Your CV should be include these six essential points, and be displayed in this order:

  1. Full name
  2. Contact details: phone number, email address
  3. Personal statement: a few sentences summarising who you are, and what you’re looking for in a job
  4. Key skills and attributes: here you should highlight your best and most relevant skills for the job you’re applying for
  5. Professional experience: detail your past jobs and work experience
  6. Education: provide a list of your education history and grades

If you would like to add more information about yourself, consider adding the following:

  • Awards and career highlights
  • Languages
  • Volunteering and causes
  • Interests
  • Testimonials
  • References

Not all CVs need to include these extra elements, so only choose to add these in when it’s relevant.


3. Only include relevant information

One of the simplest mistakes many jobseekers make is to include everything about themselves. This is a big mistake – employers and recruiters don’t have time to look over your entire life story!

You can make sure you include relevant information by:

  • Highlighting your most recent work experience in detail
  • Listing previous work experience without any detail
  • Including your most important education – e.g. bachelor’s degree
  • Adding any other relevant education – e.g. English Literature A-Level for a Publishing job

You should also ensure to explain any career gaps. If you worked for yourself, or went travelling, make sure you say so. And if you’ve been out of work, try to put a positive spin on it – did you take up any training or volunteer work?


4. Double check your CV

Once you’re done, it’s time to send time to check it over!

Before you hit the print button (or send your CV over email), make sure you use all the tools available to avoid any mistakes.

When checking your CV, you should look for:

  • Spelling mistakes
  • Grammar mistakes
  • Repeated words or phrases
  • Messy formatting
  • Errors in contact details

Not everybody has a masterful grip of the English language, but any form of mistake in your CV or cover letter may give the wrong impression to potential employers. You may seem slap-dash or that you didn’t spend adequate time applying for the job.

If you’re unsure or not confident with your CV or cover letter, we recommend using Grammarly, which is a great free tool that helps identify mistakes and tighten up your writing.

And if you’d like someone to give you additional advice, you could always get a Free CV Review from our partner, TopCV.


5. Send!

It’s time to send your application!

Make sure you have written a cover letter (even if the job advert doesn’t ask for one – it may give you an advantage) and an appropriate message when sending your application.

As a rule, try to use the same language that is included in the job advert. If it is formal, write formally – whereas if it is informal, you may also do the same.


Remember to update your professional profile

Whenever you update your CV, be sure to also update your professional profile online. That can include your LinkedIn profile, portfolio website (if you have one) and any social networks you use for business.

→ Find out how to use social media to find your next job role, and create your personal brand.


Pro tip: Use more than one CV

If you’re looking to improve your chances of getting to interview, you need to up your game and create more than one CV. In our guide to multiple CVs, we recommend changing up your CV for every job you apply for – or at the very least, for each job title or industry.

If you choose to have multiple CVs, you can manage them quickly and easily using the AdView Save CV function. Upload your CV (or multiple CVs) and keep them saved for future applications by following this simple guide:

  1. Register or log in to your AdView Account
  2. Go to the My CVs section via your Dashboard
  3. Click on Upload Your CV

You will be able to tell multiple CVs apart from their Label, Last Update, and Actions taken using them. Good luck with your job search!