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Top 6 Features You Should Include In A CV

What A Recruiter Is Really Looking For

Leigh Gillatt  •  Careers Advice

Top 6 Features You Should Include In A CV

Have you ever stopped and thought about what recruiters are really looking for when reviewing and screening hundreds of CVs on a weekly basis? It is always a combination of attributes but some of these recur for every position recruited for. It's easy to miss the basics so here is a list of the top 6 features that your CV should contain to help get you spotted by the recruiter.

1. Keep it short and clear

Before you start, choose the right structure for your CV. The most important information, such as your key skills and recent experience, needs to be near the top, where it can be seen straightaway. Sections you usually need to include are your Profile, Achievements, Experience, Special Skills (languages / computers), Education, Training, and (if you wish) Interests. Your CV should normally be two pages in length (unless you have a very long career or the recruiter asks for a longer CV). If you haven't caught the recruiter's interest by page two then they probably won't read any further pages anyway.

2. Presentation is key

Clear, attractive presentation is also important if your CV is to stand out. Ensure that it's uncluttered, with key points easy to spot. Use bullet points and keep the sentences relatively short. Plenty of 'white space' around the borders and between each section keeps the document easier on the eye and allows it to flow.

3. Most recent first

It is important that you put your employment history in date order, starting with the most recent first. Avoid leaving any gaps in employment, if for whatever reason you've had time out for a period of time, mention why and for what reason. Don't go into detail about positions you held over 10 years ago, unless you deem it to be absolutely necessary for the current application.

4. Include plenty of facts

List your job responsibilities under each position that you held. List your achievements, and responsibilities. Use numbers for achievements wherever possible, e.g. "Boosted company turnover by 10% in the first year". be sure to always write in a slightly formal manner and never use the word "I" - e.g. "Managed the team" rather than "I managed the team". Use the past tense for previous jobs and the present tense for your current job.

5. Don't forget your personality

Remember the employer wants to gain a sense of the kind of person you are, as well as what your abilities. Are you punctual, thorough, or motivated? Do you relish the thought of a challenge? With each point you write, ask yourself "Does that honestly sound like me?"

6. Adapt it

You don't have to use the same CV every time. You can have two or three versions, each for a different kind of job. Or you can tailor your CV to suit the job you're applying for. It isn't a case of one size fits all.

There we go, 6 features that you should include somewhere on your CV. I hope this gives you some ideas and that your CV is better off with these tips. What is your experience of these 6 features on a CV? Do you think they help and if so why or why not?

Once you've adapted your current CV, why not take a look at our list of Scunthorpe Jobs, for example, and apply for a new job today.