I recently posted on LinkedIn for input from recruiters (agency & client-side), hiring managers and candidates on what makes the perfect CV.
We were in the process of updating our “How to Write the Perfect CV Template” and I wanted to ensure that we were on point. These templates are generated from the feedback/ knowledge generated over the past 17 years, having partnered long-term with the likes of Microsoft, BT, Sky, Vodafone, Barclays, RBS, Yahoo!, Lego, Burberry, ASOS, MRM and Razorfish. It’s also worth noting that we are digital specialists and therefore this advice is probably most accurate for our sector, however, I believe these templates are sound for all verticals.
There are of course exceptions, it’s your CV, you are free to present it and write it as you choose. The template we’ve generated is an excellent starting point and addresses the biggest problems highlighted consistently by our clients.
To download the file please visit https://www.redcat-digital.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/REDCAT_PERFECT_CV.pdf (don’t worry – no registration required just a downloadable PDF!)
Please also find below a sample of some of the advice from the kind people who commented on my LinkedIn post that is very consistent with the advice we’ve provided;
- “It’s not a one size fits all document, make it bespoke to the role that you’re applying for.”
- “Use your spell checker. Attention to detail is important and many hiring managers will take a dim view of you failing to do something so simple.”
- “Tangible evidence! Show how your actions affected your role. Whether that’s marketing, product, growth etc.”
- “Explain clearly what you specifically achieved/delivered and if possible state the result and benefit.”
- “Impact & Relevance – make sure you highlight the relevant experience and key achievements for the role you are applying for.”
- “Make it visually appealing (but have another copy in Word)… recruiters look at CVs all day… make us remember yours.”
- “It’s often your first chance to sell yourself; think about what you want to say about yourself, highlight your achievements, don’t just make it a list of your jobs.”
- “Provide context, only list skills you can answer credibly and stop bolding random keywords.”
- “Don’t lie we’ll find out.”
- “Use bullet points. Don’t write it as if you’ve started writing an autobiography and put huge paragraphs in it Must add one more…..don’t add a photo!! Just don’t!”
- “Show you can make critical decisions about what you include – remembering a manager will probably see your CV for a few minutes, especially when they are interviewing you. Make it easy for the person reading your resume to pick out things to talk to you about. Else they’re just going to ask you to walk through your career – or just bin it.”
- “Tailor your skills and experience to the role you’re applying for.”
- “Never refer to yourself as a Ninja, Rockstar, Jedi or Wizard. We read all 4 terms as “Muppet”.”
- “Cut out the BS talk – no 3rd person speak, minimise bullet points and use proper sentences for descriptions, no buzz talk – spearheaded, synergies, workshopped, no anagrams and no forgetting you work in a team. The team thing is important as chances are the person will know and have talked to at least one person you worked with. Taking too much credit is a big red flag.”
- “Less is more! be succinct and to the point, don’t waffle.”
If anyone does want any advice on their CV or portfolio then please feel free to call me or my team at any time on 0208 265 7800.
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