What does a "good" CV actually look like?

Everyone tells you the importance of having a ‘good’ CV when applying for jobs. Now you may assume that this means ten years of experience and a list of qualifications the size of Everest – but the layout and wording you use on a CV can be just as important in landing an interview.
Many people find the question: “what does a ‘good’ CV actually look like?” harder to answer than it sounds. There is such a lot of advice on the internet that often writing a CV becomes challenging and confusing. How do you know that this advice is appropriate for your relevant field? And how do you combine all of the recommended pointers out there to actually make a ‘good’ CV?
 
Our Scientific Recruitment Specialists in the CY Partners office read CVs for a living- the good, the bad and all of the ugly. They know what kind of CV works best to get candidates to the interview stage- and ultimately securing their dream position!
And so we thought we’d share some secrets, top tips and advice from our industry experts into what recruiters and employers really think a ‘good’ CV looks like.

✍️ Sara’s Secrets ✍️

 
“Your CV doesn’t have to be anything fancy, we prefer a clear and simple to read black and white word document- oh and please no images, just make sure it looks professional!”
 
“And when writing your CV, make sure if you do have any gaps in your job history you do explain the reason for these- it saves us, and a potential employer any reason for asking any awkward questions!”
 

✍️ Graham’s Guidance ✍️

 
“Always make sure you have your current, up-to-date contact information clearly written at the top of your CV so we can get hold of you!”
 
“Oh and please don’t write CV at the top of your page – it’s a waste of space which you could use to tell us all about your amazing skills and we know exactly what the document is!”
 

✍️ Top Tips From Tom ✍️

 
we hate to see paragraphs! Most Employers scan your CV to make sure you have everything they need- this is harder to do if your skills are hidden in long sentences!”
 
Keep your CV clear, concise and easy to read by using:
✔️ Bullet Points
✔️Indents
✔️Abbreviations
✔️Buzzwords
 
“Do look at example CV layouts on the internet for help AND show your CV to any family and friends in the sector you want to go into – what advice do they have? What did they do differently on their CV?”

✍️ Help from Harriet✍️

 
The length of your CV is so important. You should be aiming for between 1 and 2 pages to really demonstrate all of your amazing skills. Nobody will hire you if your CV is just one sentence long- but also don’t waffle on over ten pages either (no matter how great you are- save that for the interview!)”

✍️ Probier’s Pointers ✍️

 
“Change your CV slightly for each job that you apply for. Try to fit in the exact buzzwords and phrases which are advertised as essential or desired in the job description (skills such as time management, organisation, team work, confidence and communication e.t.c.)”
 
“this shows that you are the perfect fit for the role and really clued up on what is required of you!”

✍️ Lisa’s Lessons ✍️

 
“Please always write your experience in reverse chronological order– we want to know what you are doing now, and what is relevant now, and not ten years ago!”
 
“If you are studying at university, or are a recent graduate, state this somewhere near the top of your CV.”
 
“And do talk about parts of your degree which are relevant and important, particularly any modules, projects or placements that you’ve done which have prepared you in some way for the role you are applying for.”

✍️ Ammad’s Advice ✍️

But, as Ammad says “a bit of personality is really important. It brings your CV to life and makes you stand out from the crowd. The company you are applying for wants to make sure that you’re more than just a good worker- but a good fit for their team.”
 
“Make room for a brief personal profile at the top of your CV to tell a bit about your qualities and interests – this honestly goes a long way!”
Emily Wilkinson

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