Elements of an Incredible CV

Posted on Monday, November 1, 2021 by The CV WizardNo comments

A CV is your calling card. It’s your main opportunity to make a great first impression. In fact, if your CV doesn’t make that incredible first impression, then you won’t get any further with the hiring manager and doors will close. 

For PA and office support jobs in London, the hiring manager will have lots of CVs to look at. How can you make sure that your CV ends up being the one properly read and considered?

Here are the fundamental elements that you have to nail before you move onto anything else:

  1. Organised structure and format

    At first glance, no one reads the words on a CV. What they see is its structure and format. They notice if it looks pleasing to the eye with plenty of white space, and without tiny or non-standard fonts and being too crammed. They notice if it looks professional, organised, and succinct rather than overwhelming.

  2. Accuracy

    Particularly in roles, such as PA and office support jobs, that require a high level of accuracy, attention to detail, and command of English in communication, you have to have exemplary spelling and grammar in your CV. No excuses. Check, check, and check again.

  3. Professionalism

    From your email address to your interests, the hiring manager’s radar is always looking for professionalism. Use every opportunity to showcase yours.

  4. Keywords and phrases

    There are good reasons to cherry pick keywords from the job description when writing your CV in order to make sure the Applicant Tracking Software flags you up as a contender. But take care not to describe yourself too subjectively. Instead, provide quantifiable evidence.

  5. Answer the obvious questions

    Don’t leave the hiring manager guessing. They will come up with their own explanations to fill any gaps. So be succinct, but give details for any gaps in employment or why certain roles ended when they did.

  6. Relevancy

    It’s tempting to list absolutely everything on your CV. However, there’s not enough room and it detracts from the information most relevant to securing the position you want. Make sure you focus on the experience and skills which are applicable for this role, today.

    In practice, this often means giving heavier weight (and more room) to your most recent roles. Older jobs from years ago usually need little more than a sentence or two summing up your experience.

  7. Customisation

    In reality you’ll have a CV that you dash out to one place after another. However, each employer wants to know that you are really keen on them. This means that you need to work out a way of customising your CV without it taking hours each time.

    A cover letter is one way to do this, but you can also have a short section early on which you edit each time, much like a personal statement. Make sure you explain why you want to work for this employer.

Once you pin down these basic elements of your CV, you can then get to work on making the content really work to showcase your skills and experience.


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