How to Create a Lasting Impression with Your CV

If you are looking to land that dream job then your CV needs to make a big impression on everyone who sees it. You need a CV that quickly demonstrates your value to employers and creates a sense of urgency that will have recruiters queuing up to interview you.

Create a flawlessly professional image

With recruiters receiving an average of 118 CVs per job vacancy, a professional appearance is essential if you want to stand out from the crowd. Your CV is your marketing material for your services, so it looks sloppy or untidy, it’s unlikely to get you shortlisted for an interview. Take the time to make sure your CV looks immaculate by using a clean and simple font, a professional title heading, and clear section headings and dividers.

Build an easy-to-read structure

Recruiters and hiring managers tend to be very busy and often review hundreds of CVs every week. For this reason, it’s very important to make your CV easy to skim read, and pick out the key information they need. Keep your CV to around 2 pages in length and break the information up using short paragraphs and plenty of bullet points. Avoid writing big long chunks of text as they will make your CV very unappealing to read and difficult for readers to find the requirements that they are looking for. Start your CV with a punchy profile to draw readers in, then list your roles in a well-structured manner and be sure to show the impact you have made on previous employers.

Optimize your CV’s top quarter

The top quarter of your CV is the part that is first visible upon opening, so it needs to make a big impact if you want to ensure that your CV is read in full. Some busy recruiters may shut your CV down without reading any further if they don’t see what they need. This may seem pretty cut-throat, but it’s a reality you have to prepare for in times of tough competition. In order to optimize the top quarter of your CV, start by researching your target roles and making a list of the most important candidate requirements. Then ensure that you add as many of the candidate requirements as possible to the top of your CV in order to instantly show recruiters that you are a good fit for their role.

Add proof of your value

When a business employs a member of staff, they are making an investment in that person. And as with any investment that a business makes; they will expect to see a return. Not always a financial return, but they will expect to see some value delivered to their organization. So when writing your CV, you should always try to provide examples of the value you have added to previous employers. Good examples of value include revenue generated, time saved, and processes improved.

Remember to use a cover letter

To make sure that your CV is opened in the first instance, you need to write a persuasive cover letter that shows recruiters just enough information to suggest that you are the ideal candidate for the job. Keep it short and sharp to hold the reader’s attention and focus on demonstrating what you have to offer employers – as opposed to what you want from them. Use a friendly yet professional tone and proofread your letter before sending it to ensure there are no typos or spelling errors.


By Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter, and founder of CV writing service  StandOut CV. He also contributes to a number of leading career pages such as The Guardian, Business Insider and Huffington Post.