Writing an Effective CV

Present your CV well and it can be the tool that propels you to the top of the shortlist; present it poorly and you could be rejected before you even get to interview stage. Your CV is a marketing tool designed to sell you to potential employers, and with this in mind it must tell them everything they need to know about you in a concise way. This is even more the case within executive recruitment when applying for senior roles.

We have compiled the following hints and tips designed to help your CV really stands out from the crowd:

Be specific

  • Be specific in the way that you list the skills on your CV. For example, refer to yourself as an ‘expert in local authority performance management’ rather than possessing ‘excellent communication skills’.
  • Outline what makes you different from other candidates, not only in terms of your experience but also in your style and approach to work.
  • Tailor your CV depending on who will be reading it. Remove technical jargon if you are submitting it to a non-technical person and add it in if a technical expert will be reading it.
  • Study the person specification and work out how your experience meets the criteria set out. Public sector recruiters are rigorous in matching candidates with the criteria of specific posts so reflect this in your CV.
  • Support your list of achievements with some written or numerical evidence.
  • Add a couple of lines under each of your previous businesses or organisations explaining their size and nature. This may prove useful to people in a different region.

The right presentation

  • Present your details in reverse chronological order with your most recent job first. Also, there is no need to list every position you have held; not everyone will want to read that you were an assistant rent collector in 1956 if you are a Chief Executive now.
  • Include education and personal information to the rear of your CV.
  • Use a decent size font and neutral type face that is easy to read.
  • Do not include photos as some email systems will simply bounce back any documents with digital images attached.
  • Use a professional sounding email address; don’t just borrow your daughter’s!

If you would like to learn more about how GatenbySanderson can help you, contact us on Leeds 0113 205 6071, London 020 7426 3960 or Birmingham 0121 644 5700.