CV Tips and Tricks to ensure your CV gets shortlisted

Many people struggle to write their CV. Some fail to make it interesting and will not interest any recruiter in reading it. Others use templates that are downloaded from the internet and gives the recruiter the wrong impression of them. Then there are others that do not do enough research on the company and the job description, and do not include the relevant key skills on their CV.

Remember a good CV is your marketing document, and it has to deliver your marketing message succinctly and in a visually appealing format.

CV Style

  • Always use action verbs and strong adjectives.

  • Avoid word repetition as this gets penalised by the ATS (Artificial Intelligence) used to read CVs online.

  • Leave out unnecessary words and phrases like “Duties include” or “Responsibilities included”.

  • Be consistent with grammar style throughout.

  • Always avoid self flattering terms like “I have excellent communication skills, outstanding, very hardworking and always use my own initiative:” You are definitely over-doing it by blowing your own trumpet in this manner. If a sales person sells you a product in this manner, trust me, we will all run a mile away from this sales person! You won’t even talk like that to your friend so why are you speaking in this manner to a recruiter? Describe your accomplishments effectively and let the recruiter decide for themselves if you come across in the content as well qualified.

  • Convey through your content that you understand the recruiter’s needs, priorities and you have the hiring criteria that they are looking for to fit the role.

CV format

  • Stick to 1 or 2 pages maximum. Only use 2 pages if you have more than 4 years experience working in a relevant service sector. If you are a recent graduate or part time roles, then definitely go for just a single page CV!

  • Make the page easy to scan and read, Avoid using grey or coloured borders or place information on several columns that make it look like a newspaper or magazine article. You are not writing a magazine with several columns on a page.

  • Leave enough white space so your text does not feel it’s fighting for space which in turn makes it difficult for the recruiter to read.

  • Don’t put duties, list accomplishments and skills.

  • Only include training courses that are relevant to the role.

  • Remember that scanning technology is used by the airlines and other employers to make the selection. Software only reads text so coloured borders and fancy fonts would throw errors on the results and your CV will get binned! IMPORTANT: Ready made formats on the internet such as CV builders and CV templates cannot be read well by scanners. This is where many fail to even pass the online CV shortlisting.

  • Always use a traditional font, such as Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri.

  • Ensure you have described the relevant keywords on the job specification and mention your experience relevant to them. The AI software scans for keywords but any overuse will also get your CV penalised and into the bin, so be careful.

  • Leave out excessive personal information, hobbies or references as this info is not needed at this stage of the recruitment process.

  • Finally, proofread at least three times for correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. Do not rely on Word auto correct spell check and grammar.

    Finally, if you need help with a CV review inclusive of our professional CV writing service, please get in touch as we are here to help. Say in the body of the email that you are keen on our CV review and writing service, and we will provide more information for you. With prices as low as GBP£50 for a professionally written CV, it is a worthwhile investment to make if you want your dreams to come true.


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