The 5 Essentials for a Successful CV

The 5 Essentials for a Successful CV

The 5 Essentials for a Successful CV 400 224 Janice Thomas Janice Thomas //

Your CV is the document that will get you through the door for an interview and that all important new job.

Follow these 5 key essentials and get your CV noticed.

Use a clear format.

  • Make your CV clear, accurate, error free and easy for recruiters to read. If they have to work hard to search for your skills and experience you will not be noticed.
  • Start with your personal details at the top of page one. Eg Your name on one line followed by your email address and phone number on the second.
  • Keep your CV to a couple of pages.
  • Use bullet points to make your information stand out.

Professional Contact


  • Have a personal email address that you check regularly.
  • When you are sending emails, make them formal, professional and always finish with your full name and contact number.
  • If you are away, make sure you set up an ‘out of office’ reply, stating when you will be able to respond.


  • Use a personal telephone number and ensure you have a professional message on your voice mail. This will let recruiters know that they have got through to the right person.
  • Record the message your self and make it clear and to the point.
  • Return calls promptly. Leaving it a day or two before you respond will come across as if you are not interested.

Make a Statement

  • After your contact details, start your CV off with a short personal statement. Keep it to two or three sentences.
  • Highlight your professional attributes.
  • You could use a sentence to state who you are, one to cover your background and one to state what you are looking for / why you would be a good fit for the role.
  • Do not use this section to list out your skills. You can cover these in other parts of your CV and in a covering letter.

Be Achievement Focused

  • After your personal statement, list your ‘Work Experience’.
  • Detail your job title, dates of employment and the company you were employed by.
  • Make a short statement about your role, eg brief outline of responsibilities, number of direct reports etc
  • Do not use up valuable CV space with a lengthy description of the organisation you worked for. You are selling yourself, not your previous employer.
  • Under ‘Responsibilities and Achievements’, bullet point your main accountabilities and achievements.
  • Put more information in for recent roles and less for older positions.
  • If you have been in the employment market for a number of years, for even older roles, you can simply list them with your job title, employers name and dates of employment.

Be Unique

  • Make your CV the place where you show why you are unique and the best person for the role.
  • Include all of your key skills and experience.
  • List your qualifications and relevant training.
  • Include any charity or community work.
  • Avoid waffle and be factual.
  • Tailor your CV to roles that you are applying for so you can include key elements relevant to the job in hand.

Follow the 5 essentials and get yourself noticed!