Create a CV to Maximise Your Chances of Career Success
The employment market is highly competitive so learning how to write a CV is the best way of ensuring that you’re in a position to come out on top. But before you learn how to write a CV, consider how long the average recruiter spends looking at a CV. The answer, according to research is just 6 seconds. It’s just enough time for a recruiter to skim the first page of your CV.
CV writing skills aren’t something that you learn in school. So if you’re feeling stressed, you’re not alone. The good news is that our CV builder can help you to create a CV that delivers maximum impact.
How to Write a CV: Our Top 10 Pieces of Advice for UK JobseekersDeciding how to write a CV can seem daunting when you approach it as a single task. There are two things you can do to turn it into a quick and easy job to make a CV online, however:
- Use the right CV template to create a framework, and a CV builder to guide you through the process.
- Divide writing a CV into smaller, more easily managed sections. Don’t aim to get everything down in one go. Start with your contact information and work methodically from there.
These helpful tips on how to write a CV will put you in the perfect position to complete a CV that meets the expectations of recruiters and showcases your individual attributes:
1. CV Template Choice
2. Put the Right Information in the Right Section
3. Tone and Formality
5. Formatting Your Work Experience
6. General Keywords
- Accurate – with reference to records you’ve had to keep.
- Confident – and how this has been used to measurable, positive effect
- Innovative – with details of initiatives you’ve spearheaded
7. Specific Keywords
9. Check Spelling and Grammar
10. Read It Through
3 Common CV Writing Questions That UK Jobseekers Ask
What is the format of a CV?The format of a CV refers to the information included and how it is set out. Different CV templates will apply for different professions, but all formats will include the following:
- Contact information.
- Employment history.
- Educational history.
- Additional skills.
How do you write skills on a CV?Write skills on a CV by:
- Dividing them into soft skills and employment based skills.
- Illustrating your skills with practical examples them in use.
- Being honest about your skills, even if some people opt not to.
- Avoiding using clichés such as ‘team player’.
What are the first things a recruiter is looking for in a CV?Additional research into recruiter behaviour found that 80% of the 6 second review time was spent looking for:
- The start date and end date of previous positions
- The start date of any current position
- Current/previous title and name of company
If these data points aren’t present, and set out in a clear, easily accessible manner, then your CV will fail at the first hurdle. The increasing use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) means that getting the structure or content of your CV wrong can stop it from even being seen by a recruiter.
Always bear in mind that knowing how to write a CV successfully also means customising your approach for the specific job you want. Make sure you choose the right template for the job in question and you’ve made the best possible start. Combine it with our CV builder and you can be sure the content of your CV will make you stand out to recruiters.
How to Write a CV That Passes ATS Filters
What is an ATS?
An ATS, or applicant tracking system is an automated system that scans CVs before they are passed on to a human recruiter. The impact an ATS can have on the effectiveness of a CV has to be borne in mind, as it’s been claimed that 98% of the Fortune 500 companies now make use of an ATS. The ATS software will be programmed to look for certain keywords in a CV, and to reject those which don’t feature the right words.
Writing an ATS friendly CV
The key to writing a CV that can make it past an ATS is knowing which keywords to include. You’ll find these keywords through careful analysis of the job title and job description. The kind of skills mentioned in the description will have to feature in your CV, and the ATS may also be searching for the specific job title, in order to weed out those who haven’t done the job before.
Keeping it Real
Once you’ve identified the right keywords, the temptation might be to include them as often as possible as a kind of insurance policy. Resist this temptation, as a CV that’s over-stuffed with keywords will be rejected by the ATS as being machine written, rather than authentically human. And even if an over-stuffed CV does manage to fool an ATS, it will fail the 6 second test when put in front of a recruiter.
Top Tips for How to Write a CV that’s ATS Friendly
- CV Template: Choose a CV template suited to the industry, which sets out the information in a clear and easily readable CV format.
- Skills Section: Include a skills section and headline those skills which are mentioned, by name, in the job description.
- Use Full Terms and Abbreviations: Use both full terms and the right abbreviations as keywords, as the ATS will probably search for both.
- Qualifications: Ensure that the qualifications specified in the job description are listed in full.
- Specific Customisation: Customise a new CV specific to every position applied for, as the ATS for each will be programmed differently.
How to Write a CV: Top UK CV Examples
There’s no getting away from the fact that learning how to write a CV can be a challenge. Writing a CV is a specific skill, no matter what kind of work you’re seeking. Choosing a template that matches your experience and the job you’re seeking is key to success when you create a CV. And looking at UK CV examples can make all the difference. The following examples highlight the need to choose carefully when it comes to things like template, tone and structure:
How to write an engineering CV
How to write an executive CV
- Create a formal impression
- Encourage the use of professional language
- Set out your work experience in reverse chronological order
How to write a fashion CV
How to write a law CV
How to write a marketing CV
How to write a sales CV
How to write a legal CV
How to write a creative CV
How to write a nursing CV
How to write a CV for a part-time job
How to write a football CV
How to write a CV for retail
How to write a medical CV
How to write a perfect CV
How to write a successful CV
How to write a graduate CV
How to write a CV with no experience
How to write a professional CV
How to write a UK CV
How to write a good CV
The Quick and Easy Answer to How to Write a CV
When you sit down to write a CV the first thing to accept is that it can seem like a challenge. It involves detailing everything you have to offer professionally in as little as 2 sides of A4, and doing so in a way that meets the expectations of the profession in question. It also means putting together content that can both beat an ATS, and grab the attention of a recruiter who might spend just 6 seconds looking at it.
These aren’t the kind of skills that you were taught at school, or that you usually have to apply in your working life. Writing a CV is a unique challenge, but these tips will make it quick and easy:
Take a look at examples of other CVs written for the same industry
They will have the kind of format needed and will show the type of language that recruiters expect. Factors to look out for include the emphasis placed on different factors such as employment history, education, and skills, and the keywords that have been used in response to the job description.
Use a CV template
Many of the best CVs make use of CV templates. These will have been put together by experts with an in-depth knowledge of the industry in question, and a grasp of what will appear professional and relevant to a recruiter. The right template will offer a clear and concise format and encourage you to set out your details with the right emphasis.
In conjunction with a CV template, our online CV builder makes it quick and easy to fill in all the relevant details. Simply point and click to use carefully created examples as they are, or take the text as an inspiration and adjust it to exactly fit your needs.
Common CV Writing Mistakes That Recruiters Don’t Like
Perhaps the most important part of learning how to write a CV is to understand your audience. The person you make a CV for is a recruiter. They will probably be reading through hundreds of CVs, looking for applicants who present a good case for being invited to an interview.
The 6 second rule is based on solid research and underlines the fact that your CV has to make an instant impact. Once you’ve done this, you have to make sure it doesn’t include the kind of mistakes that will lead to instant rejection.
According to industry experts Undercover Recruiter, the top 10 reasons for recruiters to reject a CV include writing in the third person, using emojis, and having an unprofessional email address. These three slip-ups may be fairly simple to eliminate, but there are also less obvious errors to keep an eye out for.
2. ‘Too Much’ Design
3. A CV That hasn’t Been Written For a Specific Job
- It doesn’t match up to the job in question closely enough
- Re-using a CV indicates a lack of professionalism
4. Irrelevant Information
5. Typing and Grammar
How to Write a CV the Quick and Easy Way
Getting your CV just right is absolutely vital. It could quite literally change your life if it opens the doors to the kind of job interviews which take your career in a completely new direction. That’s why it’s worth taking the time to make sure you do everything you can to write a CV that’s perfect. It’s also why making use of our CV templates and builder is such an obvious step to take.
A CV template will set out the structure expected within a certain industry and will make it easier to divide the information you have into relevant sections. The CV builder will then take you through the sections one by one, offering point and click content which has been carefully created to match the industry and specific post, as well as being suited to your current level of experience.
The finished result will be a CV that’s suited to both ATS and human recruiters. It will highlight those aspects of your experience and attainment which the recruiter is looking for, and will look clear, concise and professional enough to beat the 6 second rule.
While writing a CV can be a difficult and stressful task, the process becomes quick and easy with our help. Furthermore, the CV you build is far more likely to have the desired effect!
Your CV is your single opportunity to make the best possible impression on a prospective employer. Don’t leave that to chance. Work with us to create a CV online and benefit from our years of industry expertise. Take a look at our CV builder now and take the next step in your career!