Recruiters spend on average less than 10 seconds reviewing your CV before they decide whether they want to continue reading it. Isn’t it scary? Therefore it is important to make sure your resume performs for you.

I have been always on a lookout for interesting and challenging opportunities that would help me grow and I have worked at some point with most of the marketing recruitment agencies in London. Thanks to their knowledge mastered my CV writing skills and I would like to now share this knowledge with you.

Presentation

Visual presentation is crucial. If you work in creative services often your CV represents your skills so you need to spend more time on beautifying it and making it easy for the eye.

I would advise keeping a Word version too as scanning systems only read Word and PDFs. Microsoft Word offers a range of templates and if they aren’t enough, I’ve created one to share with you.

Length

Regardless of how much of your incredible experience you would like to cover in your CV, ain’t nobody got time for dat. Recruiter has hundreds of other applications to scan through, therefore keep your CV short and consistent. The ideal length is 1 to 2 pages and around 750 words.

If your CV is too long, it might be worth reducing the text. A great way to do so is cutting out experience and education that are not relevant to the role (I see a lot of people keep their high school details), removing sentences and experience that repeats itself or writing lengthy sentences instead of focusing on the key information.

Layout

Header/Personal information

It needs your name and surname obviously and contact details. Mention your phone number, email (professionally looking one) and LinkedIn (if you haven’t done so, personalise your link), which has to be matching your CV. Do not include your physical address, no one needs it at this stage.  Do not include your photo and date of birth.

Summary/Personal Statement

This is your time to shine so make it work! I’ve written my statement, then rewritten it, then asked people for feedback then again rewritten it and I have been constantly improving it. Your statement needs to make the reader want to find out more about you. It shouldn’t be longer than few sentences and it should highlight your key skills and experience.  It has to sell your (relevant) skills and make you employable.

Skills, Experience & Education

This is where you make sure your CV matches the job you are applying for.

    1. Highlight the keywords in job description and check if you have them on your CV.
    2. Experience: Make sure your experience mentions major achievements in your roles. Focus on numbers (or percentages) and prove you are a strong player.
    3. If you are applying for senior or managerial roles make sure your CV mirrors that and mentions experience that proves you are a leader and manager.
    4. Use the achiever words rather than doer. These include: led, accomplished, drove, increased, directed, developed, built, ensured, achieved, improved, managed, influenced, increased/decreased, negotiated etc.
    5. Education: Keep only the latest school/university and any relevant courses that could make your application stronger
    6. Mind the language: Some companies use jargon which is only relevant to them, so make sure the language you use on your CV is easy to understand by the outside world.
    7. If you are a recent graduate or your education is more relevant to the job you are applying for then list it above the experience. Otherwise, always list it below the experience as that is what recruiter is always looking for.

Final notes

Always remember to check your CV for any grammar or spelling errors. We all do them, autocorrect sometimes changes words and replaces them with ones we did not intend to use so make sure your checked your CV thoroughly. Also, update it regularly – you never know when an opportunity comes your way.

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