This post isn’t clickbait but your CV should be…

Hear me out. I’ve been asked the same question quite a lot recently and I know I’m not the only one. Just ask Mark…

Writing about yourself is never easy but it’s even harder when you have to sell yourself — and no, I don’t mean that in a Tinder Bio kind of way.

Right now, you’re one of many. Getting noticed by a hiring manager in this climate is not easy.

A good recruitment consultant will not only find you but they will also dig deep into your history, experience, and personality in order to find out how best to sell you into the job. 

When I said your CV should be clickbait, I didn’t mean that you need to make stuff up.

Being in marine, I have to use a fishing analogy to further explain what I mean. The CV is the worm, the hook is the introduction and personal profile, and the candidate and recruitment consultant is the fisherman or woman.

Time to bait the fish! Sorry, to all hiring managers out there, I’m not saying you’re all fishy.

Your CV needs to grab the reader’s attention within the first 10 seconds. Quite frankly, no one wants to know how reliable, diligent you are. Nor are they interested in knowing you work well independently or as a team. Everyone says this — and no one cares or believes it.

Believe me, we will not assume you can’t organise a piss up in a brewery just because you don’t mention organisational skills.

Honestly, if that’s what you have on there most people won’t bother reading it. So, here’s my advice:

·      Build 1 CV – With all the detail in the world, even if it is 10 pages long. Then tailor each CV to the role you are applying to. It is much easier to remove irrelevant copy than to have to add something relevant on the spot.

·      When you’re writing your work experience. Think about the following:

o  What — What did you, the candidate, learn? What did the company gain? What did you achieve?

·        Why — Why the hell would the reader/hiring manager want to know this?

o  If the answer is “they probably don’t care”, then remove it.

·      Make sure the introduction brings across your personality — most interviews are about personality fit, so give the hiring manager a little taste in your introduction.

·      The length really doesn’t matter, it’s about content. The CV could be 5 pages long but if the content is all relevant, the hiring manager will read it or it will get to a point where they just pick up the phone and try to contact you. The moment you start leaving irrelevant things in there, their interest will begin to diminish.

·      Avoid repeating yourself. If you have been doing the same role at different employers then focus on achievements.

·      Think about the language you are using. If you started a department or managed a whole project through its lifecycle, from winning the project through to the delivery, make sure you make it clear you have done so.

·      I feel stupid saying this but PLEASE make sure your CV has up to date contact details, it just isn’t a great look. Specially after claiming to take pride in your attention to detail.

For the people that are using agencies regularly to find work, I would recommend a few other things:

·      Use keywords. All variations of the keywords that you can think of.

o  Candidate databases tend to work on Boolean search, so the higher your keyword match rate, the higher up you will be in those search results.

·      Do the above, but be sensible.

·      This is a naughty one: try putting keywords at the top of your CV in white font, so they won’t be visible to the naked eye but the CRM Boolean searches will still pick them up.

o  Disclaimer: This may annoy a few recruiters but I think it’s genius and who doesn’t like to annoy recruiters?!

All in all, be yourself, keep applying and if you can’t be bothered to fill in the long application form that companies ask you to fill in online, then you obviously don’t want the job that badly.

If there is anything else we can do to help, feel free to send your CV to and ask us for a review.

The picture below illustrates what every single recruitment consultant imagines when we read “I am adaptable and flexible”… FACT