Creating a better CV

When you apply for a new job, your CV is an employer's first impression of you, so it needs to make a real impact. Busy recruiters have little time to read CVs for vacant positions so yours needs to stand out from the crowd.

A good CV demonstrates your potential to do the job, it needs to clearly give details of your education, training, qualifications and work experience. Good presentation is the most important factor with your CV, it needs to be well thought out, well laid out and easy to read. 

Every word must contribute to the overall message, so keep it brief and make sure that the contents are relevant to the job you are looking for now and not your last job. Include just enough information to stimulate interest, but not so much that you bore the reader. The purpose of your CV is to get you an interview not tell them so much that there is no need for one.

Top tips


  • Keep it short, a good CV will be no longer than two pages

  • Always attach a covering letter to accompany your CV

  • Pay attention to the structure of your CV, always write in chronological order putting your current /  most recent job first

  • List key achievements and write a professional personal statement

  • Get someone to read your CV for spelling and grammatical errors

  • Use good quality paper, not coloured or watermarked

  • Create your CV using a recognised package like Microsoft Word

  • Always save you CV on a CD or USB for future use

  • Keep your current CV, always check your contact details are correct

  • Keep it relevant, tailor your CV to each job you apply for

  • Keep it simple, only give vital, work related information

  • Be honest and accurate - remember this information is likely to form the basis of your interview

  • Ensure your CV is well structured, this gives the impression that you think logically and makes it easier to review

  • Be careful when you use abbreviations - they can be misunderstood


  • Be too long-worded, keep the reader interested

  • Expand on why you are leaving your present job

  • List your school qualifications in too much detail

  • Leave career gap unanswered - if you spend a period travelling, then say so

  • Mention irrelevant personal circumstances

To ensure you stand the best chance of being selected for interview, talk your Acorn Consultant, who has the experience necessary to help you present your details in the best possible light.