How to improve your CV

Who are you?

Your name and contact details must be included first and foremost – this sounds obvious, however this is often forgotten and it’s not always easy to track you down when you’ve applied directly through a website. It’s vital to double check these details, is your email a ‘.com’ or a ‘’? Have you missed a digit in your mobile number? This could literally be the one tiny mistake standing between you and that dream job you’re applying for. If you have a strong Linkedin profile, it might be worth adding the link to your CV also.


What relevant experience do you have?

Your employment history and work experience should start with your most recent / current job at the top, and work backwards, including dates where possible (month and year is usually fine). Bullet points can be used to make the information clear and concise, make sure to include points that are relevant to the role you are applying for to show potential employer’s that you are experienced. You should also include details of any employment gaps, whether you were looking for work, made redundant or travelling. Empty spaces or missing dates will only provoke questions.


How are you actively improving your knowledge?

Your education and training should follow on from your employment history and work experience. You should include any qualifications, training, experience and volunteer work – anything relevant to the job you are applying for to show that you have worked towards this role and have a genuine interest. If you are currently on a course or thinking of completing a course in the near future it may be worth mentioning here too.


Show your personality!

Your CV should have a personal touch to it while still remaining professional. A section about your achievements and interests is a great way to keep this balance – this helps your potential employer get to know you better and see what kind of person you are. Achievements are great to show you like to work towards targets, this could be shown through medals / trophies / competitions. Hobbies such as sports can show how much of a team player you are, whereas arts and crafts can show you’re creative with great attention to detail.


Back it all up!

The final section to include on your CV should be your references. Normally two are provided, these cannot be relatives. Provide their names, phone numbers and email addresses. Check with them first that they are happy to provide a reference for you to avoid confusion when they are contacted.


Your CV should be clear and simple. Photos and different fonts can make a CV look messy, whereas a simple layout will make for a much easier read.


‘CV Squad’ are our CV writing partner, they are experts in onshore and offshore operations of the renewables, oil & gas, telecommunications and marine job market. Ben Muir, CV Squad’s Recruitment Director, advises:

“Most people think their CV is good or good enough. However, research shows that almost 80% of CVs received are either weak or need improvement. If your CV is not ATS (Applicant Tracking System) friendly, your chances of getting picked for an interview are very low – even if you’re perfectly qualified for the role. It is essential, that your CV is correctly formatted, keyword-optimised and as relevant as possible to the roles you are applying for.”


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