Tips from a Recruitment Agency How to Write a Killer CV

Career Advice
17 July 2019 | Career Advice | Guest Author

Having a well-written and appealing CV is one of the most important factors when looking for a new job, but how do you make sure your CV stands out from the crowd in 2019?

Writing an attractive CV takes research, dedication and lots of edits and proof reads to get it ready to send out. You only have a brief window of opportunity to impress your prospective employer so you want your CV to reflect your best personal qualities in order for it to be successful.

The tips below are from a recruitment agency Anderson Hoare who receive 1000s of CVs every year, and so have a good idea of the current trends which go towards creating a red-hot, killer CV. Take a look at our top 8 tips for writing a brilliant CV:

Introduce your CV with a concise personal statement

An opening paragraph before the main information in your CV is a great way to give an overview of your personality and suitability for the role in question.

Recently we have seen some excellent opening statements that feature short references from previous employers; a great way to give proof of the talents which you will outline throughout the rest of your CV.

Keep them wanting more

Make it punchy and to the point.

Many employers or employment agencies will have to sift through hundreds of CVs for a single role, so outline what makes you the best candidate for the position with the minimum of fuss.

If in doubt, leave it out! By which we mean, use your CV to give an overview of your skills and qualifications, with the idea that you can expand on any of the points identified in the CV in the interview. We would recommend limiting the length of your CV to two A4 sides as an absolute maximum.

Avoid gaps in work experience

The vast majority of work and life experiences will be seen as positive by an employer, so even if it seems irrelevant, make sure you include all your experience on your CV.

If you opt to leave gaps in your work experience, it will undoubtedly make your employer suspicious. Even if you have had a period in your life without work, most employers will respect someone who can put a positive spin on a hard experience, so don’t be afraid to include this as well.

Don’t lie

Lies will almost always cause you problems in the end so don’t be tempted to embellish your CV with falsehoods. Most people will struggle to convincingly answer a question on a lie in an interview so don’t gamble with the truth!

Make it easy on the eye

The best CVs are visually appealing, with a focus on making the information easy to read. You can do this by separating each section using clear headings and plenty of white space between them.

Unless you are going for a design position, clarity should be prioritised instead of elaborate graphic design. Make sure your personal details are listed at the top with the sections listed in a logical order after this.

Include relevant keywords

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are systems used within the recruitment industry and in some larger organisations to filter CVs by their target keywords and phrases. If applying for a highly-competitive job, it may be worth including some target keywords and phrases in your CV that you believe your employer may opt to search for using one of these programs.

Regardless of whether or not the recruiting company using ATS, you should always be thinking about relevant buzzwords to include in your CV. Making these as relevant as possible to the specific job will impress any employer regardless of whether they are using a computerised system to filter applicants.

Review before your send

A spelling or grammar mistake can be the difference between you getting an interview or being rejected straight away. Make sure you use a spell checker to review your CV, check it yourself several times and ask someone you trust to check it for you.

Give an insight into your personality

Many people think the hobbies and interest section can be removed to accommodate more work experience and qualifications, but the reality is that this is an important part of your CV that should not be ignored.

Outlining some of the things you like doing outside of work makes you more relatable to the employer, and – if you have hobbies relating to the new role - can also be a good way to show your passion for the field you plan on working in.

In Summary

As recruiters we see 1000s of CVs every year and come across these common mistakes almost every time.

We hope you found these tips and tricks for writing a killer CV useful; good luck with your job hunt and make sure you don’t fall at the first hurdle with a poorly-written CV!



Lottie is the Social Media Marketing Manager at Anderson Hoare - boutique recruitment consultant based in central London. Lottie blogs on tips for employers to find the best match for administrative roles such as PAs, secretaries and other office support staff.

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