When you first sit down to write your CV, it’s common to feel relatively stressed. Where do you even start? While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, there are multiple rules of thumb to follow.

It should be short enough for a recruiter to read through quickly, for instance, ideally no more than two pages. Your CV should also be properly formatted so that it’s easy to scan through.

The most important rule of thumb, however, is that it should be personalised to the job you’re applying for. It should highlight why you’re suited for that specific role.

It takes most employers less than ten seconds to either reject or save an applicant’s CV. Keeping things short, sweet, and easy to read is essential, whilst also highlighting the key points as to why you’re suitable for the role.

You’ll need to follow a few words of advice to stand out from the countless other applicants.

When many people think of what they should include in their CV, they think of the obvious things. Their previous work experience, education, and similar things should also be included.

These will all highlight your hard skills for your potential employer. You’ll also need to demonstrate your soft skills, however.

That means including certain verbiage in your CV. It’s best to be honest with these; you wouldn’t want to risk being caught out in a lie, especially if you get the role.

Focusing on what skills and attributes you’re proficient in is a large part of this. Taking the time to determine what you offer is recommended.

Some of the more common attributes to highlight include:

  • Hard-Working
  • Reliable
  • Adaptable
  • Confident
  • Responsible

Don’t follow a formula, but you’ll need to include particular things

You’ll likely already know that you’ll need to include particular things in your CV. That could lead to you taking a formulaic approach to writing it.
You should avoid this at all costs. Recruiters know when you’re following a formula; they’ve seen it multiple times before.
That being said, you’ll need to include:

Personal Details

Your name and contact information should always be included.

Personal Statement

Here, you’ll briefly explain who you are and show why you’re suitable for the role.

Work Experience

Highlight your most relevant work experience.


In here, you should explain what you accomplished and how. This could be work related or perhaps an achievement from a hobby or interest


Any degrees or courses related to the role should be included here.

Hobbies & Interests

While these are optional, it could be worth including ones that are somehow relevant to the job, such as ones that demonstrate soft skills.

How should you present your CV?

Your CV will naturally be the first part of you that a potential employer sees. You’ll need to make a great first impression.

The presentation of your CV is vital to this. It needs to be appealing at first glance; if it isn’t, a recruiter may not give it enough attention.

If your CV is confusing and poorly laid out, it can be difficult to determine if you’re the right person for the job. That could be the case even if you have all of the most relevant skills and experience.

To present your CV in the best possible way:

  • Have a professional font that’s easily read.
  • Have a logical layout order.
  • Keep experience and education in reverse chronological order.
  • Make sure that your spelling and grammar is correct.

Is there anything that should be left out?

Many people focus on what they need to include in their CV. What you should leave out is as vital as this.

These are typically the cliches and similar things that keep coming up. While these should be included if they’re mentioned in the job description, you should leave them out otherwise.

Should they be included, then you could risk irritating the recruiter. They’ve likely seen them in countless times on CVs that day alone.

That’s particularly true of particular words and phrases. Some of the more popular phrases to leave out of your CV include:

  • Independent
  • Multi-Tasker
  • Goal-Driven
  • Flexible
  • Motivated

Wrapping up

Once you’ve finished writing your CV, you might believe that you’re done. You’ll be satisfied that everything’s done well, especially if you’ve followed the above.

If you’re in a position where you’re still searching for a suitable role, then you may need to keep working on the CV.

Since each position is different, you’ll need to tailor your CV to each of them. When you do, you should focus on:

  • Showing that you understand the job requirements.
  • Highlighting your most relevant accomplishments.
  • Including personal traits and skills that make you perfect for the role.

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