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Top tips for a great CV

If you want to ensure that your job applications are successful and you bag those interviews, it's fundamental that you have a top CV to support it.

Your CV should not be ‘one size fits all’ affair – it should be tailored to the specific role and sector that you're applying to. Spending time on your CV to ensure that it reflects the qualities and skills outlined in the job specification is essential.

It can take a little work to create a great CV, but once you have a successful process in place, updating and tailoring your CV will become second nature. Then, in no time, you’ll find that the interviews start to roll in. Read on for our top tips.

Keep it up to date

It's important to make sure that you keep your CV up to date. After all, you need to sell the most relevant and best version of yourself on your application. If you learn new skills, complete any qualifications or start any new hobbies, make sure to add these to your CV.

If you've been job searching on and off for a little while, you may find that you have a few variations of your CV floating around on different jobs board and recruitment sites. Make sure that you keep track of who has your CV and that it is the most up to date version.

You don't want to realise that you missed out on some great job opportunities, simply because recruiters were looking at an outdated CV.

It may sound simple, but make sure that your CV also clearly states your most up to date contact details. This includes your email, phone number, and full name. If these aren’t correct it can make arranging interviews more difficult and you may miss out on a job as a result.

Tailor it where possible

When submitting and writing job applications, it’s important to make sure that you have tailored your CV to the job role. Read the job description thoroughly and pick out the key skills that are required. Then, ensure that the skills on your CV match and reflect these.

Recruiters may read hundreds of different CVs for each role they’re hiring for, so if yours doesn't tick most, if not all, the boxes in the job description, you may fall into the ‘no’ pile.

Keep it concise

It can be easy to get carried away with your job application and CV. If you find that you're waffling or repeating facts across both your CV and cover letter, it’s time for a rejig.

Remember, a recruiter will spend around 30 seconds scanning through your CV, so making sure that it's structured well and nicely presented is important. 

Ideally, your CV should be no longer than two pages of A4. It should be simple to read, with no large chunks of text. If you want to go into a little more detail about specific roles and responsibilities, use bullet points to break it up and highlight any key skills.

In addition, only include work experience that is relevant to the role you’re applying to. That week-long work experience that you did when you were 13 may no longer be needed so it could be time to take it off your CV. Don't be afraid to do so. 

Remember the basics

It can be pretty easy to get swept up in a job application. Sometimes, even the basic components of a great CV are overlooked. It's important that you get these basics right, as your CV won't stand out amongst other candidates if you fall at the first simple hurdle.

Make sure that your CV looks clean, tidy and all the fonts and sizes are as they are meant to be. Getting just the basic formatting of your CV wrong is a massive turn off for recruiters.

Check that the layout is easy to work through, with your contact/personal details, personal statement, work experience, education history, achievements, skills, hobbies, and interests listed in a logical and chronological order. 

Sometimes it can help to have a fresh eye look over your CV, just in case you’ve made some common spelling and grammar mistakes which can be easily corrected. 

Ready to write a great CV?

If you tick off this checklist for writing a great CV, then you should be well equipped for your job search and you may well find that the interviews start to come in.

Scotland-Jobs is currently advertising a range of jobs in Scotland and is one of Scotland’s leading job boards.

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