CV Writing Advice

Recruiters spend most of their day looking at CVs; we’ve looked at hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions over the last few years. It’s therefore understandable that given these monstrous quantities they are generally skim read for less than a minute.

Writing a CV is by far one of the toughest elements of job hunting. So what can you do to help make your CV stand out and get put forward to the wonderful companies Listo Brands works closely with I hear you ask?

Thankfully for you we’ve compiled some of our top tips to help your CV stand out from the crowd and get that all-important first interview.

1. CV Length – It’s not a thesis!

Whilst there is not set limit, the average is generally 2-3 pages and should avoid exceeding more than 5 pages.

It’s important to be concise and summarise your experience as there’s little chance any recruiter or potential employer will spend the time reading more than this.

I’m personally of the believe that less is more, by limiting the length of your CV and including only the key points candidates often leave the reader wanting to find out more about them.

2. Font – Easy on the eyes please

The font selected for your CV can say a lot about your personality, style and even professionalism than most candidates realise.

Fonts should grab the reader’s attention at first glance and look aesthetically pleasing on plain white A4 paper.

The most common typeface is Times New Roman, however sans serif fonts like Arial and Calibri are nice on the eye. Whichever typeface you select it’s important to stick with it and consistently use it throughout the entire CV.

Black font at a size between 10-12 points is standard.

Make sure your name and headings stand out by slightly increasing the font size to 14-16 points, using bold, Italicise, CAPITALISE or underline. Important skills and achievements can also be emphasized to draw the reader’s attention using these formats, however whatever you do please don’t make your entire CV bold or italic, or both. Just don’t do it.

3. Skills – Showcase them

Include a skills matrix in your CV, displaying your spread and proficiency in certain technical skills and demonstrates your ability to work on projects requiring them.

Don’t make this a never ending list of every software, tool or programming language you’ve ever used. Instead emphasize the skills you excel in and those required by the role you’re applying to.

Another added benefit of including this section is to ensures keywords are checked in automatic CV searches.

4. Illegible Mini-Font – It doesn’t work

Don’t include hidden keywords in your CV in an attempt to get your CV indexed in more keyword categories. We notice things like this devious tactic and it won’t get you far on your job search.

5. Format – Don’t go Pete Tong!

Make your CV look nice.

Recruiters and the companies we work alongside like pretty and well designed CVs.

Poorly laid out information makes it hard for us to quickly find what we’re looking for.

It’s best to follow this simple order, removing any unnecessary sections:

  • Name, Location, Phone Number, Email, LinkedIn / Github (or other) profile.
  • Brief Personal Statement.
  • Education History.
  • Skills Matrix.
  • Current Employment (Company Name, Employment Dates and Role).
  • Previous Employment.
  • Hobbies.
  • References.

Hopefully these guidelines provide some insight into the details that increase your chances of employment.