There are many suggestions out there on how to put together a CV that will wow potential employers; so many, in fact that it can be difficult to figure out where to take advice from. Thankfully, there are a few areas of your CV that you can concentrate on to get noticed.

Although your CV is only one piece in a very large puzzle, as far as achieving your next career move is concerned, it is a vital piece. The basics have to be right.

Choose the correct formatting

By ‘formatting’, we’re talking about the software you use to create your CV. For example, some companies will only accept a CV that’s in Word or PDF format. There are two things to bear in mind here; you must ensure that you are using the correct software to create your CV and you also need to consider whether the recipient will be able to open it and view it as intended.

To create a well formatted CV simply use as much plain text as you can. You can also save a Word document as a PDF file, which will preserve the formatting you used in Word. Please note that if you are using a recruitment agency to help you find work, they will need a CV formatted in Word in order that they can add their contact details and help you by adding in anything that they feel would assist you in your search.


Although most software today includes spell checkers, it’s always important to ensure your CV is proofread before you send it. Proofreading allows you to identify any words you may have accidentally omitted. It can also help you spot correctly-spelled, but incorrectly used words. One example of this is typing “form” instead of “from”. The former is spelt correctly, but isn’t necessarily the word you may have meant to use.

If you have invested several hours in creating your CV, it can help immensely to have another pair of eyes take a look at it for you. The recruitment consultant you are using is the perfect person to proofread your CV, because they know which are the key facts and can provide you with suggestions on how you might improve it.

Using Lists

When composing a CV, it can be tempting to list all of your previous job roles, but be sure the most relevant are highlighted. This will show your potential employer that you have invested the time to ensure your CV is relevant to the job you are applying for.

Make sure that your skills and experience (relevant to the job role being advertised) are also listed in a clear way – they need to “pop out” and gain the hirers attention.

Ensuring that every word has meaning

There are many commonly-used words and phrases, such as ‘thinking outside of the box’, and ‘team player’. So commonly-used, in fact they may actually hinder your job search.

Although you may be tempted to use these buzz words and phrases, try instead to insert information regarding your specific accomplishments, as well as any positive results related to the efforts you made in a particular situation. These will add loads of value to your CV. Ask your recruitment consultant to help you with words and phrases that will add value to your CV. Form a great relationship with them and they will help you all the way through each step of the application process.

Tricia Hay

Tricia Hay is Owner, Director of First Base Employment Limited