I’ve worked in recruitment for 10+ years, so whilst I’m aware there are dedicated businesses who professionally write CVs for a cost, I also find it pretty shocking there are a few recruitment companies that charge a small fee to review or format the CV’s of potential candidates they want to work with.

Over the past fortnight I’ve spoken to several of my connections, all of whom have either paid or been requested to pay for their CVs to be reviewed (let alone written), in preparation for a new role. More often than not this is with those leaving the Armed Forces.

tips to help you stand out for all the right reasons

When I’m formatting a CV, or even working with someone to write a CV from scratch if they’ve never had to use one before, I always follow the same format in a plain word document (PLEASE no text boxes, its a formatting nightmare!) as below:

– Full name and contact details.

– Profile (a few sentences introducing you and your skillset, including important areas of your career that you feel necessary to highlight).

– Education Details and relevant training (no need to list your individual GCSE’s or Degree module breakdown unless you’re a Graduate. Same goes for any training you’ve been on, only ones that are widely recognised).

– Employment History (including the date from and to, the organisation name and your job title in bold. Followed by a list of relevant bullet points detailing your duties and responsibilities. Do this for each role, most recent through to oldest).

It doesn’t need to be over-complicated, just clear and concise. As my colleague Russell  previously pointed out in an earlier post, here are a few things we’d also suggest you avoid:

– Photos – aren’t necessary for a CV – most employers will look you up on a social if they want to see you, I would leave them out.
– Please, please, please don’t rate yourself on skills – it’s not tangible to anyone giving yourself 5 stars in excel or 75% for communication (plus it’s a formatting nightmare for a recruiter).
– Avoid colours – if they are printed it isn’t likely to be in colour so will look messy.
– Keep the font consistent and the font size consistent – stick to 10pt and 12pt for headers.
– Don’t refer to yourself in the third person.

A copy of a CV template can be seen on my LinkedIn profile, which gives a clearer picture of the above, so please feel free to use this yourself. Equally if you have any questions or need any further help, please send me an email or comment below!

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