Job Search Part 4: Writing That Winning CV

Job Search Part 4: Writing That Winning CV

Are you looking for work? Then you have come to the right place!

This is the fourth in our new series on Job Search. In the first post at this link said that you have a decision to make! The clearer you are about the kind of work you want, the more likely you are to be successful.

In the second post at this link,, I set out some options for you in terms of where to look for work

In the third post, last week, I said that networking was the most effective way to look for work and we discussed how to do it well.

Now we are going to consider how to write a winning CV

Last year we published a series of posts on CV writing and you can find the links to them below.  You can find lots of books on CV writing on Amazon and those that come well recommended are at this link

A CV that is going to win you the job is the one that makes the reader want to know more about you. The CV that makes it much more likely that you will be invited to an interview! Good CVs are valuable and a very good investment of your time.

So how do you make yourself stand-out from the crowd?

Any CV that you write is only relevant if it shows how you meet the requirements of the particular role – so be ready to tailor you generic CV for each post. Be specific about skills, experience and personal qualities. Show that you understand their requirements.

These days employers and recruiter receive sacks full of CVs. Make yours short (no more than two sides of A4), easy to read and attractive.

Lay it out clearly with enough space and clear section headings.

Your CV shows what you bring to the organization, so make it look professional.

  • Choose a clear, professional font that is easy to read (e.g. Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman)
  • Make no typing mistakes – CVs with typos get “binned”. A simple spell check is not enough: ask someone else to proof-read your finished CV
  • Have clear headings (work experience, education etc) so that these can be scanned quickly
  • Order your experience and education into reverse chronological order with the latest first.
  • For recent posts, sum up what you actually achieved and delivered for each post
  • Concentrate on the last 10 years and sum-up earlier experience briefly.

Many recruiters’ job sites search candidates’ CVs for specific keywords. It is important to include those which are likely to apply for the particular job. Create clear statements that demonstrate your skills and what you deliver, using terms that show you as positive and pro-active.

These are positive keywords, you could use to describe your personal attributes

  • Accurate
  • Adaptable
  • Confident
  • Friendly
  • Hard-working
  • Innovative
  • Pro-active
  • Reliable
  • Responsible
  • Intelligent
  • Experienced

When describing your experience and achievement use pro-active descriptions like:

  • Achieved
  • Formulated
  • Planned
  • Broadened
  • Generated
  • Managed
  • Represented
  • Completed
  • Implemented
  • Shaped
  • Delivered
  • Saved

And, in these hard economic times, if you have saved an organization money or generated new business, flag it up with figures and facts.

Next week we’ll tackle writing that convincing covering letter!

I know you can get that job you have been hoping for and I would like to help you. Email me now to arrange a free half hour coaching session by Skype.

Wendy Mason is a career coach working mainly with professional women who want to make that jump to senior level. Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between face to face coaching, and coaching and blogging on-line. You can contact Wendy at and find out more at

Coming shortly – the WiseWolf Career and Personal Development Programme – if you would like to know more email

  • Building Your Portfolio – STAR Stories Make You a Star!Writing your CV! Part 1 The Basics 

  • Writing your CV! Part 3 Pondering on CVs; language,confidentiality, competencies and referees!

  • Writing your CV! Part 2 Making Choices

  • Modifying Resume Job Titles Risky… Unless You’re Honest by Dawn Rasmussen

  • Identifying transferable skills; a core ingredient of a successful career change

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