CV Advice

In this candidate-driven market, those with the best CVs will get the best opportunities. Fact. We don’t customise your CV as we believe it is your personal sales tool and should reflect your personality and ability. The average reader spends just 10 seconds looking over a CV before making a decision to read on or bin it, so it’s hugely important that you present the most important information first.

Your name and contact details should be at the top, followed by a few lines as a brief profile which should encourage a prospective employer to read on… Recent graduates (those with up to two years’ post­graduate experience) should include details of their education next, as this might still be an important selling point over some of your peers. For most people though, the next section should be their employment history, with the most recent position appearing first. After all, what you did 15 years ago may bear very little relevance to the work you are doing now.

Always bullet-point your key performance indicator achievements; using phrases like 15% sales improvement year-on-year, 2% shrinkage improvement, and CTS down 6% as this is what the employer cares about and is the strongest evidence of your ability.

Education should then come next, again the most recent first, and then – under personal details/further information – you may want to include information that you didn’t cover at the start of the CV, such as whether you hold a driving licence, any interests you have or particular systems skills. Bear in mind though, that prospective employers do make judgement calls on candidates based on the information you submit, so if your hobbies are really off-the-wall it might be best to save them until later in the process.


  1. Keep it simple; no photos, fancy paper, folders or fonts
  2. Stick to bullet points of no more than two lines each
  3. Make sure your whole CV is less than two pages long – three at a push – after all, it’s meant to be a taster not your life story
  4. Don’t just list job tasks, use your CV to demonstrate how personal skills, experience, qualifications and achievements can translate into real benefits
  5. Don’t leave gaps in your CV; if you’ve spent time travelling or similar, it’s better to include this than to leave the reader guessing
  6. Use the past tense because it sounds more powerful.

Finally, don’t include referees unless this is requested in the job you are applying for as it’s just a waste of precious space. If you get it right, you’ll have a much better chance of impressing the consultant or employer.

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