Specialists in Engineering and Technical Sales Recruitment

Selling Yourself Through a CV

Initially your CV may determine whether or not you are offered any prospective position. It is the ‘front line’ of your recruitment application and any invitations for interview will, on the whole, be based upon this. Although your inter-personal and face to face skills are much more important, you will not get the chance to display them and ‘shine’, if your CV is not good enough.

What an Employer looks for
Put yourself in the shoes of the Employer.


What are they looking for, how do they decide who to interview?


Your CV should be tailored so that you have:  

  • the specific skills needed for the job  
  • the right type and amount of experience  
  • the right personal qualities 

Keep it simple. It should be concise.

  • short - ideally no more than two pages
  • clear – word processed and laid out in an easy to read format.

CV Presentation and Appearance
The overall look of the CV is important. Ensure all spaces and gaps/tabs etc are universal and nothing is out of line. If in doubt, keep it simple with a well written covering letter.


Personal Qualities
There are a number of phrases and attributes that employers in any industry will always look for. Remember to back these up during a face-to-face interview!! The following words are examples of personal attributes often looked for in an employee:

  • Ambitious
  • Dynamic
  • Confident
  • Driven
  • Enthusiastic
  • Innovative
  • Tenacious
  • Positive
  • Resilient
  • Motivated
  • Hard-working

Overcoming Problems
Often, you can overcome problems by highlighting certain areas of your CV while deliberately not dwelling on others. These are some examples of the more common problems and how to overcome them:


My CV is too long, I have a detailed employment history
Emphasise the skills most relevant to the role you are applying for. Detail your recent experience and summarise the less recent - your recent activities are more interesting to a prospective employer than things you did immediately after your education.


I’ve had many jobs
Compile your employment record and focus on the skills you have achieved through experience only. Give details of your most recent and most relevant positions and add together jobs done 10 or 15 years ago, or in a period when you changed job frequently, as ’various’.


I’ve had gaps between jobs
If the gaps include voluntary work, training or relevant experience - travel, for example - put these down as part of your skills, qualifications and experience.


Otherwise, giving the year of employment only rather than month and year, - this will cover short gaps. However, be prepared at interview stage to answer any questions relating to your history.


Most of the jobs I’ve done have been very much the same
Solution: concentrate on your key skills and achievements and simply summarise your actual career history. Pay particular attention to the Key Skills section on your CV as a place to bring together all of the achievements and abilities learned over the course of your career.


Remember, Your CV is a selling tool for you to take advantage of. The better you can make it, the better chance your giving yourself to get the position. Your CV is your only passport to interview stage, once here you can draw upon your personal skills more convincingly and getting that position you always dreamed suddenly becomes a reality.

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