Your CV Overhaul

Whether you are a starter or a professional, everyone has an idea of how to write a CV. This article seeks to point out key things that can make your CV stand out. Recruiters often look through CVs using a list of criteria to narrow down a shortlist for a given role. To ensure your CV is included in the shortlist, it needs to be readable and include the most relevant information from your experience.

Your CV is your word to your potential employer. It needs to give you that hedge over another applicant and help you stand a chance of getting an interview. Below are some tips for refining your CV and stamping it as fit for purpose.

Personal details

  1. Include your full name, address, phone number, email address and, if relevant, your LinkedIn and Twitter account names, ideally as hyperlinks.

  2. Include a professional-sounding email address. Avoid mail addresses that sound too casual or which use nicknames such as ‘’” or similar.

  3. Date of birth should be left out except if required for the role.

  4. Include nationality or any relevant visa status.

  5. Do not include photos or visual elements unless specifically requested.

Opening statement

  1. Your opening statement should cover your key strengths, either as a one or two sentence summary of how you best fit the role, or as bullet points of your core skills, talents and selling points.

  2. Your opening statement gives you a great opportunity to tailor your CV for each job application. Adapt it to be as relevant as possible and create different versions that directly address the requirements listed on a specific job ad. (Not many are aware that this is in fact okay to do).

Write your CV with the job description in mind

  1. By thoroughly researching the company, and by paying attention to key words in the job description, you will get a good sense of the organisation’s needs. Use this knowledge to your advantage and write your CV to compliment this.

  2. To help tailor it, you can incorporate keywords in your CV that you find in the job description or that are common to your role of interest.

Highlight achievements

  1. Where possible include your most relevant achievements that show how you successfully handled similar situations to what you would do in the job you are applying for.

  2. When listing your achievements, also demonstrate how they made a difference.

  3. Use numbers and percentages to show measurable success and illustrate how you added value to organisations you have worked for.

  4. Avoid exaggerating or misrepresenting your accomplishments and make sure you don’t claim complete responsibility for team achievements. If you get invited to the interview stage you will need to be able to explain your involvement in detail.

Work history