How to write a good CV
While reports suggest 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for talent, they still need a copy of your CV to put you forward to hiring managers. Knowing how to write a good CV is important as producing a good one can determine whether you get an interview.
So how can you write a good CV? In this post, we offer you some of our best CV tips along with a comprehensive overview of the steps you can take to write an impressive CV.
Determine your key skills
The first thing you should do before writing your CV is some preparation. Start the process by picking out at least five of your key skills and achievements.
For example, have you led teams or managed staff? Is this something you’ve had good feedback on? If so then list ‘management’ as a key skill. If some of the projects you’ve worked on were successful because of your vision, insights, and creativity, then list a key skill as ‘creative thinking’. Perhaps you’re a technical expert in your field? If so, make sure you add it to your list. Try to make a list of at least five of your most important skills. Then, you’ll need to make sure your CV reflects them.
Research the job and role
You’ll need to tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for. So, make sure to do your research on the company before writing your CV. The reason you should do this is to make it easier for hiring managers to pick up that your skills and experience are relevant to the job. And if managers can see from your CV that you match all their requirements, they won’t have to think twice about inviting you to interview.
Focus on a good structure
Having done the prep work, it’s time to consider the structure of your CV. And there are different ways to write a CV. But, to give you some guidance and CV tips, here are some of our recommendations:
Put key information at the top
Hiring managers have many CVs to get through. So it’s even more important to showcase the best of your CV at the top of the page. One way to do this is by including a profile section. In it, you should summarise your career history and include your five key skills. You may also want to include a sentence on the type of role you’re looking for, or your long-term goals.
Show the difference you made
With your profile at the top of the CV, it’s best to follow it with highlights of your career to date. In this section, you’ll show potential employers the difference you’ve made in previous roles. That could include things like increasing revenue, or how you brought in new systems and processes that increased productivity.
Either way, it’s a good idea to include the figures and metrics with any achievements.
Keep it simple
Most CVs shouldn’t be longer than 2 pages. And you’ll need to keep your structure pretty simple. In practice this could look like:
One line of your contact details at the top, e.g., Name, email address, phone number.
A profile section with a paragraph highlighting your key skills and achievements
Your employment history starting with your most recent work
Your educational achievements
Any training or courses that may be relevant to the job
In general, it’s better not to add any hobbies or interests to your CV. But, if you engage in extracurricular activities relevant to the job, consider including them in your training or courses section.
Make it SEO and ATS friendly
Most recruiters use some form of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). And many companies or agencies looking for candidates will use search engines that target certain keywords. So, knowing how to write a good CV includes factoring in SEO and ATS requirements.
Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Since the hiring process can be long-winded and time-consuming, ATS is a form of candidate screening technology used by many companies. In practice, it’s computer software that scans CVs for certain keywords that match job descriptions.
And this is where it’s beneficial to have done your prep work since most forms of ATS software will be scanning CVs for certain key skills. According to HR News, 99% of Fortune 500 companies now use Applicant Tracking Systems as part of their candidate screening process. Plus, smaller and medium-sized companies are also now acquiring this technology. So it’s worth doing the work.
Search Engine Optimisation
In a similar way to ATS, highlighting your key skills throughout your CV will help when posting your CV to online job boards. That’s because search engines like Google work by retrieving results based on the words used in the search. So, you’ll need to optimise for SEO by increasing the density of keywords in your CV. To do this, make sure you use the same words for your key skills throughout your CV.
Manage any gaps
If you have any gaps in your CV, you may worry about how you’ll explain them. And while having some breaks in your CV is quite typical, employers will want you to explain why they’re there.
If you can’t address gaps in the CV itself, make sure you’re ready to answer any questions at the interview. Always present your situation in a positive light and avoid covering things up. So long as you can explain a good reason for any gaps, the hiring panel will understand.
Proofread and polish
So, you’ve done the prep work, created a structure, and thought about keywords. Once you’ve written your CV, you’ll need to find a fresh pair of eyes to review it for any errors or oversights. If you’re doing it yourself, it’s usually better to wait for a day. Or, even better would be to get someone else to read it or use AI platforms like Grammarly to help you.
Now that you know how to write a good CV, upload it with Metalis
Knowing how to write a good CV is important to your job search and can determine whether you get an interview or not. But learning how to write a good CV takes practice. With these guidelines, you’ll be on the road to success in no time. Particularly if you’re able to include your key skills as keywords throughout your CV documentation.
Once you’re ready to, we encourage you to register with Metalis and upload your CV to our website. We’ll then take a look over your skills, qualifications and experience and let you know which roles could suit you best.
With a team of experienced consultants, Metalis can help you find your next role in engineering and manufacturing.