10 Essential Things to Include in a Successful CV

Successful CV

Writing a successful CV (resume) is the difference between being added to the Yes pile rather than the No pile on a managers desk. Writing a great CV takes a level of skill by making sure that you include enough information to make it relevant to potential employers without any additional useless waffle.

Before you send out your next CV, here are a few suggestions and essentials that can make a tired CV into a successful CV.


Be completely honest in your CV. Make sure that your previous responsibilities with your last employer haven't been embellished upon. Make sure any educational courses or training courses carry the correct grades. Chances are if you get to the interview stage the interviewer will a. discuss your roles and responsibilities with your last employer and b. ask to see your qualifications. So keep it real.

2. Short and snappy

A successful CV should be no more than 2 sides of A4 paper. Your CV needs to summarise your achievements, personality and previous experience quickly. Employers will see dozens of CVs per job and you want yours to be quick to read. So, keep it punchy, to the point and save any lengthy topics of conversation for the interview.

3. Tailor your CV

Don't make the mistake of sending out the same old CV for different jobs hoping that the same CV will look attractive to different employers. It won't. Make sure you understand the roles and responsibilities of each job EXACTLY. Then tailor you CV and make changes accordingly, being sure to highlight your relevant experience and skills in these areas quickly.

4. Keep it up-to-date

Make sure than any recent training and educational courses, career highlights and current responsibilities are all included in your latest CV. Employers want to know what you have been doing recently to make yourself more employable. So, if you have added to your skill set in some way, make sure it is mentioned on your CV.

5. Include a personal statement or cover letter

Chances are your CV won't be able to explain why you're the perfect candidate for the job by itself. However, including an additional personal statement or cover letter will. Again, keep this brief, formal, punchy and to the point, but make sure you explain how your current skill set, experience and philosophy fits perfectly well with the company you're hoping to work for.

6. Don't leave gaps

Leaving obvious gaps in your CV makes potential employers suspicious - "What actually what were you doing between 2013 and 2015? Prison time?" Seriously, make sure you plug any gaps in employment history with true accounts of what you were doing. Perhaps you went travelling for 12 months or your were out of work. If it is the latter, try and put a positive spin on it by explaining that you an extra educational course, did voluntary work or you took the time to develop your soft skills and communication skills. Again, though, whatever you did, tell the truth.

7. Highlight your achievements

If you managed a team of people, say how many people worked under you. If you increased the sales figures of a company say by how much. If you transformed the productivity of your last company mention how you did it. All these (and more) highlights will separate your from other candidates during CV reading process. They will also be used as talking points during the interview stage.

8. Make it look good

Jazz up your CV and make look different from the rest. Use bold colours (black font and another colour for sub headings), use bullet points, use white space effectively to keep the layout easy on the eye. Even before anyone has read your CV these tips and hints will make sure your CV stands out from the crowd.

9. Spell check and grammar

Make sure you correct any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors before sending out your CV to potential employers. Any mistakes wll not look good as it suggests you're prone to making errors and you are a person who misses the finer details or a task.

10. Keywords

Use industry standard keywords and buzzwords if you are uploading your CV onto a job search website. Making your CV search engine friendly and search engine optimsied (SEO) will mean that when a potential employer searches the site using keywords, your keywords will match what they are looking for. For example, if you're a web designer you should litter your CV with words like 'web designer', 'HTML', 'CMS', 'databases', '.css', 'Java', 'JavaScript', 'software', 'web projects' and other industry standard words that employers might use to find future employees like you.

We hope this 10 suggestions have given you the basis to create a great looking CV that means you're are invited in to your next interview.