10 Tricks for A Smashing CV - Blog Image

10 Tricks for A Smashing CV

Andrew Arkley on October 21, 2020 in HR Management

Should you use a recruiter to find a job? It is true that finding your perfect job can be tough. However if you choose to work with a recruiter, they can match potential roles with what you’re looking for and your specific skill set.

Recruiters can help you out with your job search. This helps make the process easy, allowing you to focus on preparing for your winning job interview. But, it might not work out for you as well.

Whether you hire a recruiter or not, you should ensure your CV is working hard for you and getting you noticed. Having a tailored CV can help you get through to the next stage of the hiring process.

Here are 10 tricks for a smashing CV.

1. Show your personality

Recruiters are looking through countless CVs that seem identical and use the same stock phrases. That is why it is important to list your skills and experience if you want the edge on others. You need to showcase your personality and mention your soft skills in addition to the other information.

What makes you unique? What are your hobbies and interests? Why should they hire you over other candidates?

2. Focus on transferable skills

If your experience does not relate directly to the job role, focus on your transferable skills. Maybe you built time management skills from a summer job, or sharpened your analytical skills during your degree. These skills are just as important in showing you can deal with deadlines and work well in teams.

Highlight your transferable skills in the skills section of your resume which make you well suited to many roles. Show your hiring managers that you can work in a general office environment.

3. Check spelling and grammar

First impression is the last impression. You only get one chance to make a first impression. This CV is yours and has to do all the talking whilst you’re not in the room. If there are any spelling mistakes in a document that is meant to sell you, and that you’ve had time to compile, it will never be a strong selling point.

So, you got to proofread your CV. In addition to this, you can also get someone else to read it through. This will ensure that your job application is error-proof. Your grammar and spelling should be perfect to show your attention to detail abilities.

4. Tailor Your CV

Research the company and job position you are applying for and then tailor your application to them. Be specific. Pick examples of what they have worked on that you have admired, and why you think you are a good fit for the same.

You can keep it short and crisp. Remember that even one personalized sentence tailored to the company will go a long way in showing your commitment to that company. Personalization shows you have not just been firing off countless generalized applications.

5. Keep it updated

Employers want to see what you have been up to most recently, without gaps if possible. If there are any gaps make sure you have an explanation for them.

It is always a good idea to update your CV at regular intervals, adding new work experiences or additional responsibilities you have. Always remember to add your educational qualifications as well as work experience in reverse chronological order. Add the certifications you have done in the Certifications and Education section. When you need it next, you will not be scrambling to remember what new skills you have learnt since you last used it.

6. Professional and clear formatting

The next trick in the list of top 10 tricks for a smashing CV is proper formatting. Presenting your CV in the cleanest and most readable way helps grab the reader’s attention. A well-formatted CV with clear signposting and relevant headings makes it easy for them to spot your skills and experience.

7. Proof of claims

Quantify your results wherever and whenever possible. A CV is a chance to show your impact, and quantify it in real terms so that the person reading it can see exactly what you made happen in your previous roles. This could be the revenue you generated on a project, or the amount of engagement and reach your social media posts or ads had.

What were you personally responsible for? How did you make a difference to your team? Providing evidence proves your claims, making you sound more impressive. You can also add a cover letter to your job application to make a good impression.

8. Keep your CV to two pages max

Employers are short on time. Present your information in the most concise way. Don’t go over two pages!

Hiring teams today generally use Applicant Tracking Systems like Jobsoid for managing their hiring processes. Ensure that your resume is clear and in a proper format.

9. Use bullet points on your role descriptions

This breaks down your job role by making it more digestible. Hiring managers will not have to scan dense text to find relevant information. They can quickly see if you are a good fit for the role.

10. Tell the truth

As tempting as it may be to exaggerate your experience or achievements – don’t! Employers will be able to check certain claims. If you get to the interview and are not able to back up those claims in person, it does not look good on your part as a candidate.

Employers want people who are trustworthy. Lying in your first interaction with them will not go down well. Be honest and work with what you have, making it sound as great as possible on your CV with the above tips.


Recruiters spend an average of seven seconds looking at a CV before deciding whether to progress or pass on the candidate. Make those seven seconds count and wow them with an impressive, well-formatted CV that is backed up by quantifiable evidence. Implement these 10 tricks for a smashing CV and leave a great impression on your prospective employers.

A stand-out CV is the first step in helping you secure your dream job.

Andrew Arkley

Andrew Arkley is the founder of PurpleCV, one of the UK's leading CV Writing Providers - with over 15 years’ experience in HR and recruitment at a senior level and having conducted thousands of interviews, he knows precisely what it takes to land a job.