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  • Writer's pictureJay Thandi

What makes a 'good' CV?

Updated: Feb 21, 2023



What is a CV

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a document that summarises your education, skills, and employment experience. This has been the predominant method used to apply for a new job. Although some have the opinion that social media profiles, online applications or networking will replace CV’s, many companies still require a CV submission as part of their recruitment process.


A CV traditionally consists of a few key points:

· Personal & Contact Information

· Personal Statement

· Career summary (chronologically ordered from latest down)

· Education

· Hobbies


The CV highlights what you have done in the past and why your experiences make you suitable for the role you’re applying for.


What makes a ‘good’ CV?

We see a large number of CVs on a daily basis, and there are a number of things that equate to a ‘good’ CV. What makes a CV ‘good’ is subjective to an extent, in as much as there are a number of factors to be assessed in relation to the role. Is there an appropriate level of experience? Are the required qualifications held by the applicant? Has the applicant had the desired work experience or demonstrated the relevant skillset?


Some of these conditions are final – you meet the requirements, or you don’t. But there are ways to make the best of your CV and ensure that you are giving yourself the best possible chance to make a good first impression.


1. Formatting and Layout

A well laid out CV can make a real difference. A hiring manager or a recruiter is likely sifting through a fair few CVs, so the easier you can make it for them to find the information that they want, the better chance you have at having your talents spotted.

This includes clear headings for the above mentioned sections, bullet points for your work experience or career history rather than long paragraphs, qualifications clearly laid out with the grades or results.


2. Data or evidence

Providing data or examples of how you have achieved what you say you have, can be very helpful. It acts as a demonstration of your skillset.

Are there KPI’s you can share? How many team members do you supervise? Have you worked with any big clients, and can you name them? How have you measured success? Are there any growth statistics you can share?


3. Context and Relevance

Context and relevance is hugely important; there is little point in highlighting lots of achievements if they are not aligned to the roles you’re applying for. Take a considered approach, and ensure that your CV is adjusted to the role you are applying for. Consider your achievements and successes through the lens of the hiring manager and think about how to frame your experience in such a way that you can illustrate it’s relevant to the role you are applying for. Consider your transferable skills, and how best to highlight them. What tools have you used? Did you obtain any additional qualifications to be more effective in your role?


4. Professionalism

Remember that this is a professional document and should read as such. Ensure that your CV reads well, avoiding slang or abbreviations. Remember that your email address should also be professional, it can even be a good idea to create a separate email specifically for professional purposes.


In essence, you should aim to make your CV as user friendly as possible. Showcase your experience and skillset in a way that is easy for the reader to see. Make it as easy as possible, for a hiring manager or recruiter to find what they’re looking for in your CV, so that you can get into the interview process.


Here at Solis Recruitment we do offer a free CV review service for all candidates that we represent. You can register with us here and we can offer free advice on how to improve your CV.

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