How to Strengthen your CV

Your CV is a summary of your work experience, qualifications and capabilities. The aim of your CV is to make a positive impact on the reader and encourage them to get in touch with you regarding job opportunities. 

 

We have gathered together some of our tried and tested techniques that you can use to ensure your CV is effective in the job market for 2021. 

 

Do Your Research  

 

Without research, you won’t know what companies are specifically looking for within your industry. 

 

Do you have a job role in mind that you want to start searching for vacancies in? Conduct research into that role and what you need to know clearly what companies are looking for. 

 

If you’ve found a job to apply for, thoroughly read through the job description and look at what the role consists of. Then work out how you align with the role, and what personal attributes and work experience you have to be an ideal candidate for the role.  

 

Go that one step further and write a cover letter, but make sure to do your research. Tailor your cover letter to the company that you are targeting. Find their company ethos or mission and ensure you weave these things into your CV, directly describe how you fit into the company. Show them your enthusiasm for how they operate and how you can add value to their operation. 

 

Structure and Format 

 

When writing your CV, you should put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter, they may have hundreds of CVs to review and analyse so make it simple to read!  

 

Using bullet points is a good way of separating big chunks of text and ensuring that you get your message across in a crisp manner. Bullet points can be used in numerous areas of your CV, including the career history and the skills section. 

 

Section headings are also a good way to break up your CV. Ensure they stand out by making them larger to the body text and bold. 

 

Work Experience  

 

Work placements, volunteering and any paid jobs - include all experience that is relevant to the time. The employer doesn't need to hear about the paper round you had at 13 years old.   

 

Make sure you give details of your previous jobs, starting with the most recent first.  

 

Details to include in your work experience:  

  • Name of the employer 
  • The title of the job 
  • The dates you worked 
  • A brief outline or bullet points of what you did. 

 

Highlight your strengths by using active words like: 

  • Influenced 
  • Organised 
  • Created 
  • Built 
  • Managed 
  • Planned 
  • Streamlined 

 

If you’re applying for your first job, you can focus on skills you’ve learned through projects, part-time work, school work experience, internships, placements or volunteering. 

 

After fine-tuning your CV, it's time to start applying for jobs. 

 

Just remember that each job will have its own criteria, and to have a good chance of making it through to an interview, you’ll need to customise your CV to match the job description.  

 

Good luck!