Essential CV Tips:

How to stand out from the crowd

The objective of a CV is to secure that interview. To do that, it needs to grab the reader's attention in a positive, professional way, so that they WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU! You have a matter of seconds to make this impact so what should you do?

With over 45 years of combined recruitment industry experience, these are Colin and Nick's top 5 pearls of wisdom to help you SUCCEED in securing that interview that could elevate your career. 

When did you last update your CV?

  • Was it when you last moved jobs and do you just add your current employer every time you're considering a move? We see this a lot and candidates will often then forget things like turning the text into the past tense. 
  • Better advice is to be more proactive with this vital document, giving it a health check every 6-12 months, updating your most recent successes and keeping it fresh. 
  • For the star candidates, they'll have a regularly reviewed, template version of their CV, which they tailor to each role that they apply for, which is the Platinum standard to aim for.

How is your CV presented to demonstrate your career journey?

  • It's vital that the CV gives a flavour of who you ARE and not just what you DO. It's about knowing and articulating your unique selling points. 
  • Below your personal details, you should have a short PROFILE SECTION, giving a very short elevator pitch which is your chance to really shine. It should hook the reader in and grab their attention. Try to avoid cliched "me too" soundbites such as "likeable, hardworking, trustworthy team player". Those words and characteristics should be a given, so add little value to your cv!
  • Next, have a KEY ACHIEVEMENTS header, highlighting key wins, projects, targets beaten, where you ranked in any sales league, how many other sales people you were up against etc. (6-8 examples of achievement is sufficient). Don't forget, a great CV isn't just words, it's numbers too! 
  • Then start with the Name of your current employer, your job title and then in a few short sentences, spell out what exactly you are selling, who your are selling to (your different routes to market) and your geographic area. Then have 3 key achievements in that role, ideally name dropping some of the bigger companies that you've successfully sold to. 
  • As you go back into the history of your CV, shorten the description of each role and your achievements, as Hiring managers are largely interested in your more recent achievements. Remember, you ideally want to keep the CV to 2 pages, in a font size that is readable without the need for a magnifying glass!

How do you showcase your skills and are they transferable?

  • Your CV is there to highlight the very best achievements of your career to date, the successes that you've had and the transferable skills that will benefit your next employer, so don't list out everything that you've done and you feel you're great at. It's a taster, so keep it concise and on point. 
  • To repeat the earlier points, include key examples of how you've applied your skills in projects and tasks and the results obtained. 
  • Make sure that the details and dates of your CV mirror those on your social media profiles, such as LinkedIn and trusting that you have a strong social profile, attach your LinkedIn hyperlink in the personal section at the top of your CV. 

What level of education have you achieved? Are you on any ongoing courses that will enhance your value as a candidate?

  • If you are Degree educated and it's relevant to the role that you're applying for, then have that in your profile section and again in this section. 
  • If not, then list the highest level of qualification that you've achieved, with any relevant sales or management training courses that you've attended.

Your hobbies and interests - What picture do they paint of you?

  • Again, the reader doesn't need to know everything about you, so list a few hobbies and interests that highlight some of the things that you could bring to the role. Playing sport would indicate a team player, competitiveness and discipline, Reading or Podcasts or TED talks would indicate personal development and a growth mindset, helping in the community would show social responsibility, travel would show a passion for new places and cultures etc. Try and give a few specifics that will show your individuality, personality and character. 

In summary, be natural, use your own language, rather than raiding a dictionary for vocabulary you'd never use and remember that you must be able to back up your claims of success, dates on your CV and companies that you've worked for. Final tip, keep it fresh, update often and avoid speaking in the 3rd person.

For more help or advice, or to get your job search underway and to elevate your career, please either upload your CV through our portal, or email your CV to

Alternatively, you can call us on 01737 452030. We look forward to working with you.

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