You must structure your CV correctly to get noticed. Your CV structure is effectively your sales pitch in a shop window. Recruiters and hiring managers see hundreds of CV’s every day from candidates with similar skillset and experiences to you. Content is king but how do you stick out from the crowd? Make a good first impression when we open your CV? Here are 5 ways to structure a CV that will get you noticed.
Less is more
- Don’t clutter your CV: less can be more. Do not build a CV structure that is longer than 3 pages, certainly no more than 5. Remember, we have to send your CV to a very busy HR Manager or hiring manager and I’m afraid the feedback on your 13-page CV will not be positive, they are busy remember. We need to capture their attention quickly and effectively.
Make it clear you are the right person for the job
- The purpose of your CV structure is to demonstrate your skills and experience and ultimately show why you are the right person for the job. Why are your perfect for the role you have applied for?
As an example, you are currently an Engineer for a food manufacturer. You see a role of interest for an Engineering Team Leader position also for another producer. You will not simply apply saying you are an Engineer, grab the eyes of your reader.
When applying, emphasise your experience in a snapshot
“I’m Joe Blogs and I would like to be considered for the Engineering Team Leader position you are advertising. I have 20 years engineering experience working in the food industry. I’m electrically biased (as an example) and have up to date qualifications including 18th edition”
Tailor your cv to the role you are applying for
- Once you have received the job description from the recruiter, tailor your CV to match the spec the hiring manager has provided. This does not mean make some random experiences up but really have a think about how you meet the requirements
Example, a requirement of the role is for someone who has led a team through a difficult time. Maybe exceeded what was expected of them in their role. Consider what difficult times you have led your teams or exceeded expectation. Ensure it is in your CV and clearly highlighted – that’s your first tick by the hiring manager
Do's and Dont's
- A small personal statement – A busy recruiter or hiring manager should be able to get an immediate feel for who you are and why you are good at what you do. The statement should be no more than a couple of sentences and gives a snapshot of your skills, experience and why these offer you as an excellent candidate
- Include professional qualifications – Showing your accreditations will demonstrate how you have invested in yourself and the potential for further growth
- Contact details – make sure they are clear and correct! A CV with no or incorrect contact details is not going to be considered. The amount of CV’s I have seen with no contact or outdated details on will surprise you!
Do not include
- Include a picture. It has absolutely no bearing on your application whatsoever. When we forward your CV to the client, it will be removed. Loading onto the system, it will be rejected so please make our lives easier and don’t include it.
- Long paragraphs, it does not help us get to the information we need. A simple rule to remember for each role – 4 to 5 lines of text, 4 to 5 bullet point achievements
- Boxed text – No, no, no, no, no!! The bane of a recruiter’s life is to remove all of your text from boxes and format it properly
Looking for more advice with your CV? Comment below
Director of Food Recruit
I’m an independent owner of Food Recruit. Passionate about the Food & Drink industry having spent time as a Supply Chain Manager and Business Development Manager for two of the UK’s largest meat importers. High Care, Low Care, Chilled and Ambient I have worked across all markets including B2B, Foodservice, Wholesale and Retail.
I fell into recruitment in 2016 to start a Food & Drink desk in a long standing Engineering Recruitment business in the West Midlands. Progressing on to Business Development Manager covering multiple markets before starting my own agency in September 2020.