Writing an effective CV

 28 November 2013

When jobs are limited but applications are plentiful, recruiters look for any reason to whittle down the candidates. Amy Edwards, from recruitment website Bubble Jobs, shared advice for keeping your CV out of the rejection pile.

Tailoring your CV for every job can seem like an arduous task, but Amy Edwards believes it increases your chances of being shortlisted.
Tailoring your CV for every job can seem like an arduous task, but Amy Edwards believes it increases your chances of being shortlisted.

If your CV isn't getting you shortlisted for any interviews, there’s a pretty strong chance it could be improved.

Here are five tips to ensure your CV finds its way to that coveted ‘Yes’ pile.

1. Make it relevant 

At Bubble Jobs we’re always chirping on about how much of a difference a tailored CV can make to an application – but it’s for a good reason.

Make sure your CV has the relevant keywords in.

Make sure your CV has the relevant keywords in. Consult the job spec or advert for these.

By including them, you’re showing the recruiter you have all the skills they’re looking for – so why would they discount you?

Making your CV relevant to each application can be time-consuming and dull – but if it gets you further along in the process, we’d say it’s definitely worth it.

2. Don’t forget the details

It might sound silly to say that a recruiter might discount a CV which hasn’t been labelled accordingly. But in some cases, it happens.

"Amy Edwards CV" is an example of an appropriate file name. You should avoid naming your document "CV" or "My CV 2013".

Remember, the small details matter. Be sure to go over your cover letter and CV with a fine-tooth comb to ensure they are:

  • free from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
  • labelled accordingly
  • referencing the right information, such as company and job title, for the job in question.

3. Use the space effectively

Trying to cram in every single job you’ve ever had, regardless of whether it’s relevant for the role? Stop right there.

You only have a maximum of two A4 pages for your CV.

Remember, you only really have a maximum of two pages of A4 for your CV, so you need to use it wisely.

While employers might be interested in your overall work history, they’re also keen to find out how you’re relevant to the role they’re advertising – so try and ensure you only list the most relevant roles on your CV.

Consider things like your personal statement carefully, and ask if they really add anything to your CV. If the answer is ‘no’, it might be time to ditch them. 

4. Think creatively

When it comes to CVs, particularly in the digital and creative sectors, a little bit of creativity can go a long way.

Remember, you’re different from the next candidate, so it’s time to show it. Try and think ‘outside the box’ when it comes to your CV and come up with a format which best shows off your skills.

5. Include relevant links

Make it as easy as possible for recruiters to spot your suitability.

Following on from the last point, when it comes to creative and digital candidates, employers want to see their skills first-hand.

Be sure to include links to your relevant portfolios, profiles and previous work. Remember, it’s all about removing the barriers and making it as easy as possible for the recruiter to spot your suitability for the role.

Amy Edwards works for Bubble Jobs, an online jobs board that specialises in advertising the latest creative vacancies and digital jobs.

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