Menu Close

How To Write A Great CV So That Recruiters Say Yes

Your CV will not get you a job, but it will get you a interview for the job.

So how can you entice the interviewer to call you for an interview? How do you get the recruiter to say yes? That’s the challenge.

Your CV is a summary of your career and a glimpse into who you really are. It’s not meant to be a full autobiography of your life.

The idea is to give enough information about yourself to be of interest to a prospective employer and make them want to know more and invite you to an interview.

Below are some great questions I once heard:

  • Imagine that everyone who is interviewing for the role is the same as you (same CV, same qualifications, etc.)
  • How are you going to get the job?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What makes you stand out?
  • How do you present yourself and show off your personality and attributes?


  • If you are going for a sales job, tell them how you will sell lots
  • (not that you will but how)
  • If you are going for care job, explain why you are best suited to care for people
  • If you are going to go for a serving job, explain what great service you will give and how you will provide it
  • If you are going for a design job, articulate how you will create great works of art

Don’t just tell them what you have done in the past, tell them the value that you can bring in the future, i.e. how you will do it!

Tailor each CV for each individual role

Don’t cut and paste. You need to personalize your CV for each job. Pick out key words from the job advert or job role/specification and use them in your text.

One size doesn’t fit all. Tailor it as you would a business proposal.

If they talk about being organised, having attention to detail, creativity and other competencies, so should you. Plus any technical competencies that are used in their descriptions, you must put them in your CV.

But keep it truthful, you will get found out.

What to include

Be careful not to complicate the layout of the CV by making it look pretty and adding lots of columns. These do not always scan well on HR and CRM Systems which are used to store CVs, as well as scanning them for key words.

Talk prominently about your most recent roles and experiences, and just use dates for the rest. I always say a CV should be no more than 2 pages and your work history should span 10 years.

Explain how those experiences will enable you to be very good at the job you are applying for.

Don’t just talk about what job you did, talk about your effectiveness, productivity and what was achieved in your previous and current role. Demonstrate performance figures, if you can.

Use positive key words in your descriptions: value, responsibility, focussed, proactive, prioritisation, change, initiative. When using these words, always provide examples.

At the top of your CV, you need to write a really compelling profile which highlights your skills, as well as your personality. Tailor it based on what they are looking for, but again be truthful.

The flow of your CV

Get your CV to tell your career story and why you changed roles and jobs in the past and the progression made, detailing successes and achievements. Be specific.

Make your CV easy to read and ‘skimmable’ and shout out your key attributes.

Use the job title of the role that you are applying for in your CV.

If a cover letter/note is specifically asked for, ensure you write a good one and, yes, you’ve guessed, make sure you personalise it.

Get Help

Ask friends and trusted colleagues to help you to:

  • Understand the requirements of the job, what they are looking for and use key words
  • Think about what will convince the recruiter you are the best fit
  • Re-read your CV. Is it personalised enough? Make sure you keep it truthful
  • Check for anything you have missed. Read the CV aloud, does it flow and make sense

You can’t do it all on your own.

Remember the story at the start of the video, if you were all applying for the same job with the same qualifications and experiences? How will you stand out so the recruiters will say yes?

Good luck. David.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *