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CV Advice


A CV should be as concise as possible and give prospective employers, recruiters and agencies a quick summary of your qualifications, experience, skills and suitability for a role.

Employers receive thousands of CVs every day, so make sure it looks as good as possible – DGS consultants are experts in recruitment so do not hesitate to contact us for help or advice regarding your CV.

What Your CV Can Do For You

Your CV is not your autobiography. It clearly sets out your achievements in previous jobs so that employers can see quickly what you could do for them. The aim of your CV is to get you to the next stage, whether that’s an interview, a meeting, a phone conversation or an email dialogue.

Sometimes it’s your first chance to show what you have to offer:

• You might give it to an employer at a first meeting

• Or send it to employers, agencies or recruiters as a direct approach or in response to a job advert

You can also use it to remind people of your potential:

• When you send in application forms

• Before and during interviews, both on the phone and face-to-face

Making Your CV Stand Out

Your CV may be one of hundreds on someone’s desk. Standardised CV templates such as PC formats may help you to structure the information, but if you’re going to increase your chance of an interview, your CV needs to stand out.

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes, whichever format you choose, make sure you write your CV from the reader’s perspective. You need to market yourself in terms of how you can benefit their organisation. Don’t think about what you’re ‘selling’ but what they want to ‘buy’. What are they looking for? Once you know what their needs are, it’s easier to present yourself as the solution.

Make your CV easy to read and interesting

The reader is asking themselves two basic questions: can you do this role and will you fit in?

Introduce yourself with one short paragraph profile that sums up your personal and professional attributes. Keep it simple and snappy e.g. ‘A confident and adaptable individual who works well under pressure whilst being able to meet tight deadlines. Enthusiastic and energetic, I possess strong interpersonal skills and have the ability to communicate effectively on all levels.’

It’s a good idea to ask someone to read through your CV before you send it.

Language tips

• keep things concise and jargon-free

• Use short sentences and bullet-points. You can expand on these at the interview

• Don’t refer to yourself as ‘I’ or by name

• Use verbs and nouns on their own (e.g. ‘increased sales by £50k…’ or ‘Major achievements include…’)

• Use the past tense to describe your career (‘Led a team of…’) but the present tense for your transferable skills and competencies (‘Offers experience in…’)

• Quantify outcomes in numbers, not words (‘retained 100% of staff…’). it’s quicker to read or scan

• Always double check it for typing and spelling errors


• Use an uncluttered layout with plenty of white space and wide margins

• Choose a single, common typeface such as Times, Arial, or Courier

• Follow best practice: 10-12 point body text, 16 point maximum for headings, no capitals (especially on internet CVs where capitals are seen as Shouting), use bold for headings rather than underlining or capitals

• Don’t reduce the font size or margins to fit more in. If you need another page, use one

• Just print on one side of the paper (and number the pages if there are two or more)

Maximising Your CV

Your CV sells you, your skills and achievements to employers, recruiters and agencies. First impressions count, so make sure your CV makes the right impact.

Will it grab the attention of a busy employer who hasn’t met you?

• Do you sound an interesting prospect – someone worth interviewing?

• Does it look right?

• Is the layout easy to read – does it make you look organised?

• Is it in the layout they specified?

• Is the most important and relevant information on the first page?

Does it say the right things?

• Have you described your results rather than your roles?

• Have you backed up your achievements with evidence?

• Are there any inconsistencies? Does everything match up?

• Are there any bland or hackneyed phrases or management-speak? Edit it all out.

• is it factual and objective? Make sure you highlight achievements and focus on outcomes rather than aims.

• is it relevant, truthful, brief, clear and personal? use strong action words and positive phrases but without hyping it up.

• Don’t use humour – what you find funny might not appeal to a potential employer

CV Checklist

Keep your CV up-to-date.

Any new experiences, skills and qualifications will improve your value to future employers. Contact information – your full name, address and postcode, phone numbers and email address.

Personal profile

A focused summary of what you offer

Key skills and competencies

A summary of your key skills that matches the employees needs

Work experience

Start with your most recent position and work backwards – Employees are usually most interested in your last two positions so concentrate on these

Qualifications, education, training and development

Usually these come near the end, but if particular qualifications are essential for the job and make you more marketable (for example in technical and IT roles), put them on the first page after your profile or key skills

Reference and client endorsements

Client references could support your CV in a portfolio

And Finally

Provide a covering letter or email to give your CV a ‘voice’. Draw out key points from your CV to state where there is a good match between what is required of the role and what you have to offer.

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If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 7pm.

Tel | 011 039 2359

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