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How to Write a Great CV

How to write a great CV

by Karin Singh 17/10/2017

How to write a great CV, I mean one that lands you straight away a job interview, is not something that many schools teach you. Job candidates tackle this challenge in different ways: getting books on CV writing, looking for good resume templates online, or approaching a career professional who helps them to promote themselves more effectively, in order to secure a job interview.

Bear in mind that every line in a CV should be relevant. This is particularly important if you have a long work history and you know that two pages for your CV is your limit. There are three different types of CVs: functional, chronological and a combination of both. Depending on your situation, you choose the most appropriate format, usually it’s the functional CV which is the most common and which lists your last job at the top.

What makes a great CV? These are the key parts that you should include in it.


# 1 – Your personal details. Don’t waste your first line of your CV by writing RESUME or CV, it’s already obvious what it is. Start straight with your name and in the second line mention your full address, email and phone number (if it all fits).


# 2 – Your career profile. This is a summary in which you can briefly summarize your key skills and experiences. Many job candidates mention also their career ambitions in this section, because they find this in so called “good resume templates”, which I personally consider as wrong. Why? Because it focuses on YOUR GOALS only and does not add any VALUE to the company. Think about it!


# 3 – Your work experiences – In this section you need to mention all your job titles, the companies’ names, the dates of your employment and your key responsibilities that you had in various companies. Bear in mind if you are very senior, that focus just on the last 10 years maximum.

Believe it or not, but when I’m reviewing job seekers CVs the first thing I’m looking for are ACHIEVEMENTS. That gives me the first impression on how professional and up-to-date a candidate is. Unfortunately, the number of people who are aware of the importance of mentioning achievements in their CVs is still small. Many still believe that an impressive CV means listing a lot of job responsibilities and tasks. But let’s be honest… how impressive is that really? Does it say something about how well someone performed their tasks? Absolutely not!

Thus, the only way to impress a Hiring Manager is to mention quantifiable results by showing the impact you had on the company’s success. Not inflated ones, but REAL ones. For example,

‘reduced costs by 25 %’ or ‘accelerated processes by 18 %’ or ‘won award for excellent customer service’.

You can formulate your achievements by looking at the beneficial result and what you did that made this happen. For example, ‘Improved customers experience and saved management time (beneficial result) by introducing an effective complaints escalation procedure (what you did)’.

Sadly, many statistics show that job seekers (desperately hoping to get a job interview) are lying in their CVs. Does it pay off? No, it backfires!

So, after listing your key responsibilities list your key achievements. It makes a huge difference! Recruiters love ACHIEVERS!  And be honest, please!


# 4 – Skills – List all the relevant skills and also the level of your proficiency. For example:

– Language skills: French: Fluent (written and spoken)

– IT skills: Microsoft Office: Word (advanced), Excel (intermediate), PowerPoint (basic)

– Soft Skills: Effective negotiation skills, impeccable communication skills, etc.  


# 5 – Education – Here focus on those educational certifications that really matter, e.g. a University Degree. If you wrote an interesting dissertation on a topic that might be highly relevant to the job you are applying to, don’t hold back, mention it! If you have additional industry-specific qualifications, add them as well. It all matters. Think ME – the brand.


# 6 – Interests – Mention your interests only if they are relevant to that particular job (e.g. if you have a blog and you apply for a Content Management job). If your interests are completely irrelevant, use that space in a different way to promote your skills and experiences instead.


# 7 – Other information – In this part you can add other information that you consider as relevant (eg. driving licence, your social media accounts, charity work, etc.)


It might seem obvious, however, many job seekers still get it wrong: by making grammar mistakes or typos, using different colours, not respecting any margins, not having a proper layout and showing some inconsistency in the presentation, not using proper headings, exceeding the 2 pages or focusing on irrelevant information. Don’t sabotage your own CV by making this kind of mistakes.

Follow this tips, don’t rely on good resume templates and ask people for their feedback and see whether there are any parts that need to be improved. Consider your CV as the only selling tool you have. Would you not want to make it a masterpiece?


by Karin Singh 17/10/2017

Karin Schroeck-Singh’s passion lies in creating, translating and promoting content of high-quality in multiple languages (English, German, Italian). She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and is the author of several ebooks. She gained more that 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Helping businesses to optimise their online presence is her priority, no client or project is too big or too small for her.

Stop worrying. Start outsourcing!

Karin Schroeck-Singh

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