What to Include to Make Your CV Stand Out

New Year is the traditional time for many people to decide to look for a new job. Maybe you’ve outgrown your role, prospects are low or have fears about the future of the company. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to make sure your CV is up to date.

A well-written CV is your moment to shine, the one opportunity to grab the attention of an employer and stand out from the crowd. And updating it is a simple task. You take the template that you’ve had for the last ten years, add your most recent job details, proofread it and send it out to all those prospective employers, who are desperate to call you for an interview.

Then you eagerly await an email or phone call. After all, you’ve got the qualifications and experience to walk the job. But as the days turn into weeks, you face the reality that they’re not getting back to you and you reason with yourself that they must have had too many applications. It couldn’t possibly be your CV…could it?

The Changing CV

The CV has changed drastically over the years and continues to evolve as employers make different demands on what they want to see. Unless you keep your CV up to date and relevant, you can quickly find yourself behind the times, and what you thought was necessary can no longer be the case.

What Do I Include?

Over the years, many things have changed when it comes to bringing a CV up to date and it can often cause confusion about what to include and exclude. Below are some guides to help you with your CV writing journey.

Personal Statement – An opening statement about you is a good introduction for the hiring manager to read. It briefly lists some of your credentials and what you could potentially offer the company. It is written to compel the hiring team to read on.

Core Skills – These can be bullet-pointed and demonstrate the skills you can bring. Advanced IT skills, an expert in Excel, in-depth knowledge of Sage. Anything that you’re skilled in can be listed and used.

Work history – while an employer wants to know your full work experience, only jobs over the last ten years need to be detailed. Anything from before ten years ago can be listed simply as:

  • Company name – position – dates from and to

There’s really no need for anything further.

Achievements – Employers don’t just want to know what you have done. They also want to know what you have achieved. Use power words to accentuate your achievements. Words such as ‘initiated,’ ‘spearheaded’ or ‘championed’ show employers you’re an achiever, someone who gets things done. Definitely someone they want on their team.

What Do I Exclude?

Full address – There is no need for you to list your full address. Today, a postcode on your CV will suffice. Most jobs are applied for over the internet, meaning employers will email you, rather than sending you a letter. But if you do apply by post, your cover letter will have your address anyway, so it can safely be removed from your CV.

Date of Birth – This has been gone for a while, but incredibly, some people still add it onto their CV. However, highlighting your age can leave you open to age discrimination. And, because you voluntarily supplied the information, you cannot prove any discrimination, so the simple answer is, don’t add it.

Photograph – This is an increasing trend for people to send a photo of themselves with their CV. It isn’t needed. Unless you’re going for a job where looks are important, there’s no need to let employers see you beforehand. It could again leave you open to discrimination.

References – There was a time that references would be listed, but there’s no longer a need to add them. If you get the job, they will ask you for the names of your referees. And avoid using the line ‘references available on request.’ That’s on a par with writing ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top of the document.

If you’re in any doubt on what to include, Hypnocat Writing Solutions offers a complete CV assessment and writing service at an affordable rate. We will analyse your current CV, recommend changes to keep it up to date or simply re-write it. Click here to find out more about our services and how we can help you.

Don’t Let Your CV Hold You Back

Don’t Let Your CV Hold You Back

A professionally written CV will open doors. It makes employers sit up and take notice. You only get one opportunity to impress, do you really want to leave it to chance? Your new CV should reflect you and your brilliance. Making changes today will present you with opportunities tomorrow.

Don’t allow it to hold you back and ruin your chances of success.


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