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What makes a Good CV?

What makes a Good CV?

“A good CV has one purpose only – to get you to the interview stage,” says ConnectMyCareer coach Andrew.

“So, it must quickly and effectively catch the attention of your potential employer. Your CV should present you as the employer’s ideal employee. It needs to get to the point, and place a spotlight on the strengths and skills you have and that the employer is looking for.” 

Here are just some of Andrew’s top tips for creating a CV that does the job. 

  1. Research the post and the company before you apply
    This is a fundamental requirement to any job search, but it’s important to mention.  Ensure you thoroughly understand who the employer is, what the job role involves and how your skills meet it. Don’t leave it until the last minute to do research, so that you have time to carefully craft your CV. Take a look at their social media feeds to get a sense of how they interact with people and their latest news.

  2. Tailor your CV
    A good CV is tailored to every role you apply for. If you don’t adapt your CV and match it to details in the employer’s job description, then a busy recruiter may dismiss it in the initial application sift.
    Remember, too, that many employers use applicant tracking software to scan and check CVs against the skillset of the job. If your CV doesn’t match their stated requirements and key words, your application (no matter how nice it looks) could be rejected before it even reaches human eyes.

  3. Focus, don’t ramble
    Focus on your achievements and what you can offer the employer.  Don’t ramble. A good CV should be able to fit on two sides of A4.  Unless you’re a doctor, a pilot, or an academic listing their publications, try to keep it within this limit.  A CV of three or more pages could be eliminated by an employer during the initial shortlisting process.

  4. Avoid gimmicks
    A good CV gives potential employers a glimpse of how professional you are. Don’t use fancy fonts or emojis (apart from anything, these may not display as intended on someone else’s computer). Photos on CVs don’t tend to impress UK employers either.  But you can include them in your LinkedIn profile and include a link to that on your CV.

  5. Consider an online profile
    LinkedIn and your CV can overlap in helping attract the attention of potential employers.  Not everyone needs a LinkedIn profile, but you should consider whether it may be helpful to have one. Many job vacancies (especially in the private sector) are posted by employers or recruiters who scour LinkedIn for suitable candidates. So you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage if you don’t have one. But remember, LinkedIn is your professional profile, so limit your posts to activities or interests within your professional life.

  6. Don’t forget your covering letter
    As with your CV, you should tailor your covering letter to the job for which you’re applying. Give the reader a brief summary of the CV’s highlights, but don’t just copy it word-for-word. Your cover letter should indicate your suitability for the role and refer the employer to the CV for more details.

Need some support?

Our expert advisers can provide a CV review and analysis, plus a personalised feedback report to help you create a high quality CV that is fit for purpose.


  • A consultation with one of our highly trained advisers who will look at your CV. Discuss the industry in which you want to work, and the roles you are looking for. You will talk about your goals, and any challenges you have faced when putting together your CV. This will help your adviser to consider ways in which your CV should appeal to your intended audience.
  • Personal CV Review. Your adviser will go through your CV in detail, considering what they learned from your initial conversation and their knowledge of the skills needed for the roles and industry you are pursuing.
  • Online CV Checker. Your adviser will run your CV through our online CV checker, which tests against online sift criteria.
  • Personalised feedback: Combining their expertise and the CV checker results, your adviser will provide you with tailored feedback on how to develop your CV.

Get this service here

Have a question?

Contact us with any questions, or if you’d like to arrange an online demo.

Neil McCaskill - Business manager