CV writing and presentation: The golden rules

Getting your CV in front of a recruiter/hiring manager is the first opportunity you have to make an impression – but depending on the content and style of your CV this could be more of a bad impression than a good one. According to research you only have 6 seconds to make that initial impression, the length of time a recruiter/hiring manager spends scanning a CV before deciding whether you’ve made the cut or not.

There are some key things you should do to make sure your CV is up to scratch and doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor.

Personal details

It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget to include their name, email and contact number. To avoid any awkward moments or not being contacted at all(!), make sure you clearly include your name and contact details.


Presentation is important – you might have great experience but if your CV is laid out in a way that can’t be navigated by the eye then it doesn’t matter what information you’ve included. Format your CV in a way that doesn’t distract from the content or confuse the reader. Keep it simple and consistent throughout.


It can be easy to want to include your entire work history on a CV but doing so means it’s unlikely to be read. A CV should be maximum two sides of A4 – employers are really only interested in your most recent and relevant career history.

Tailor your CV

As you would with a cover letter, tailor your CV to the job/s you are applying for. Tailoring your CV to specific jobs shows you have read and fully understand the job description rather than just firing out a generic version.

Career history

Write your career history in chronological order including dates, starting with the most recent first. Detail the key skills and experiences you have had in each of the jobs you have held, not forgetting to include achievements.

Check and check again

It is so important to proof your CV properly and not just quickly scan it once it’s finished. 71% of people in charge of hiring say spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are their biggest pet peeve. Don’t just rely on spellcheck – read your CV out loud and give it to friends and family to check.

Regularly update

Even if you’re not actively looking for a job it’s a good habit to keep your CV updated. If the situation does arise when you need to send your CV out, you’ll be able to fire it out already updated.

Are you ready to get your CV in front of employers? Contact us today to see how we can help you.