What Makes The Perfect CV

Steve Heard, Director at Hays office support, explained to us make makes the perfect CV. 

Recruiters and employers are inundated with applications so yours needs to stand out to be top of the pile. Remember that you CV is an employer’s first impression of you and your standard of work, so give it your time and attention. 

Tailor Your CV 

Before you start, speak to an expert recruiter who can help identity which of your achievements are most relevant to the jobs you want to apply for and explain what employers are looking for when recruiting for these positions. A perfect CV is one that has been written specifically for a job, generic CVs are a big turn off for employers. It’s easy to tell if you CV hasn’t been tailored to the job description. 

Not tailoring your CV suggests you’re not enthused enough about the position to spend time researching the role. Use adjectives that are similar to those in the job description, without replicating it words for word. If the employer has asked for someone who is “self-motivated and highly organised” then make sure you demonstrate these qualities in your personal statement. Give specific examples of where you have completed the type of tasks highlighted in the job description and highlight your individual contributions to projects to sell yourself as much as possible. 

Iron Out The Mistakes

Unneccessary mistakes could mean your CV ends up in the reject pile. A perfect CV is one that has been thoroughly proof read and spell-checked. Ask a friend to read over your CV as a second pair of eyes may spot an error you have missed. It is important to get the basic elements of your CV right. Pay attention to presentation, grammar, spelling, and, most importantly, your personal statement. Even if your experience is top quality, most employers won’t get round to reading it if they are put off by mistakes in your person statement. 

Keep Updating It

Once you’ve created your CV treat it as a “living” document, updating it as soon as you undertake any new tasks or responsibilities. You never know when a new opportunity may present itself and it’s important that you can respond quickly. 

Of the many CV’s I review each week it’s those which are clear, concise and accessible which I appreciate most. Build your CV around a few key achievements which relate directly to the job description and you’ve given yourself the best chance of progressing to the next stage.

Follow These “Do’s and Don’ts”for the perfect CV:”

  • Do tailor your CV to reflect the specification of each job you apply for. 
  • Do format your CV in a clear and concise way, ideally no more than two pages in length including your full work history accounting for any gaps. 
  • Do make sure your offline CV matches the information on your online profiles, such as your LinkedIn. 
  • Don’t forget to include up to date personal information, including full name and an appropriate email address. 
  • Don’t make false claims on your CV because you will be found out. 
  • Finally, don’t forget to proofread and spell check your CV for any mistakes. 

The IAM hosts a series of free webinars for IAM members, keep an eye on our events page. 


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