CV Format: Top tips for success
Your CV is the first point of contact between you and your next potential employer. It is important that it is succinct and presented in an easy-to-read format with a simple font, minimal styling and bullet points to break down information.
CV Top tips
Start with your name, address and contact details
List the main contact details prospective employers will be able to reach you through easily at anytime. Ensure that the details are presented clearly and feature prominently at the top of your formatted CV.
CV Format Tip
Include a link to your updated LinkedIn profile within your introduction.
This is where you should emphasize what you can offer your prospective employer. Summarise any career highlights that will draw attention to what you have accomplished. You should tailor your introduction for every role you apply for to make you stand out for each particular role.
Summarise your skills
Use brief bullet points to list the skills and experience you have that are relevant to the role. Hiring managers will scan this section of your CV very quickly to see what you can offer and how suitable you are for the role.
CV Format Tip
Wherever possible, use the same adjectives as those used in the job advertisement.
Highlight relevant experience
This section should include your work history in most recent historical order including paid work, relevant volunteer or work experience placements. It is important to tailor this section of your CV to the job, specifically where key responsibilities in previous roles are relevant to your current application.
CV Format Tip
Highlight how you overcame challenges both personally and as a team member.
Show off your achievements
Your formatted CV is an opportunity to sell yourself and highlight why you are the best fit the role, so it is important to include ways you have gone above and beyond the role or made a significant achievement.
Where achievements are measurable, be sure to include the actual numbers, such as “increased sales over target by 10%.”
List any training, education and courses
Only list what is relevant or required for the role you are applying for, starting with the most recent. It is important to showcase where you may have up-skilled or were able to add new knowledge to the organization.
Mention any interests/hobbies (optional)
This is where you can highlight your personality with any hobbies or interests that you have outside of work. Note, it is optional to include this on your formatted CV, and it is best to avoid stating anything that could cause friction early on.
References are available on request
It is fine to list that “references are available on request” on your formatted CV if you are not comfortable disclosing them until further into the recruitment process. However, it is important to make sure you have them readily available and and prepared when requested.
Final top five tips
1. Use the right ‘keywords’ to ensure your formatted CV is picked up in word searches.
2. Explain any gaps in your CV, and be sure to highlight the skills that you have developed.
3. Don’t include acronyms or organisation-related terminology.
4. Include two forms of contact: email and mobile.
5. Perform a spelling and grammar check. Do check your CV thoroughly for any errors. It may be worthwhile to have a friend or family member check it over for you as well.