10 Steps to writing a winning CV

Careers Avenue blog on writing a winning CV. Learn 10 steps on how to stand out with your CV compared to others.

Is your Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) getting you noticed? You are probably applying for jobs online and either not receiving any interviews or very few. The problem will be your CV, it is not standing out against others. So, let’s do something about it, here are 10 steps to writing a winning CV;


Before you even start writing your CV, brainstorm and write down what you have achieved so far. Employers look for simple things, so you winning your local swimming competition may not be important to you however it shows the employer you have a winning mentality and that you probably had to train hard. You could elaborate and state you woke up at 5am every day for training, this shows commitment, and these are traits employers look for.

2. Personal Details

Ok, so you have brainstormed and now ready to start putting things down on your CV. Start with personal details, so include your name (just first name and surname, they can find out about your wonderful middle names at a later stage!), location (no need to include full address just town and postcode), telephone number (be specific about times you are available to talk) and email address (keep it clean, no employer wants to read an inappropriate email address). Include a link to your Linkedin page (make sure it is up to date with suitable photo) as employers will want to do some background checks. You do not need to have the words Curriculum Vitae posted across the top of your CV, believe it or not they know what they are reading!

3. Personal Profile

Include a brief personal profile in a short paragraph to detail who you are, what you can offer and your career goals. Use this area to show the employer why they will want to hire you. You will want to tailor this area if you are applying for different types of roles.

4. Employment History

Outline each job role you have had with the most recent employer the first they read. Include employer name, your job title, dates of employment and either a summary or bullet points of your duties and responsibilities.

5. Education and Qualifications

Like your employment history you should write your most recent education or qualification first. Include education or qualification, achievement and dates completed.

If you have only recently left school or graduated and you do not have a work history, you may want to include some of the core modules and emphasise for the role you are applying for.

Careers Avenue blog on how to write a winning CV or resume. CV or resume are the entry point to most companies so learn these 10 steps for a winning CV or resume.

6. Achievements / Key Skills

Depending on the role you are applying for you will want to include your achievements or skills gained that are relevant for the role. If you are applying for an IT job then list all the IT skills you have experience with or if it is a sales job you are applying for talk about facts and figures of what you have generated for previous employers.

7. Hobbies and Interests

Include hobbies and interests especially if there is relevance to the role you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a role that involves maths explain that you enjoy entering maths competitions as it is a passion of yours. Employers do not want to read cliché things like ‘I enjoy socialising with friends’ as this is very generic however being a little more specific and explaining that you and your friends are part of a running club and you are aiming to run the marathon to raise money for a charity shows you can socialise and for a great reason. Tell the employer about the real YOU!

8. References

In the past it was necessary to include name and addresses of references. However, these days you just need to state; ‘references available on request’. You should only provide references at a later stage once an employer has shown interest in you. It is worth having a list of references prepared to include employer name, address, manager name, email address and telephone number.

9. Format

General rule is that CV’s should be no longer than 2 pages. If you have just finished education then your CV should be a one pager. If you have plenty of experience then limit your duties and responsibilities in roles that are over 10 years ago. Unless you are looking to work in the creative field avoid using multiple colours and try and keep to simple fonts like Calibri or Arial and no more than size 12. An employer or recruiter will have differing preferences so have your CV available in word and PDF formats.

10. Truth

Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

The answer should be YES! Make sure everything in your CV is the truth and can be backed up by a reference or background check. The last thing you want is to secure a job and have it revoked because you lied about when you started a job or gave the wrong school grade.


Recruiters spend 7 seconds and employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to review your CV so ensure there are keywords related to the job role. If you are applying for a Pharmacist role then you make sure the word Pharmacist or Pharmacy is written in your CV otherwise the ATS will not score your CV highly. Do not use abbreviations especially ones that are relevant to a previous employer, someone reading your CV will not know what they mean.

Once you have written your CV give it a spell check and a final proof read. Ask a family member or friend to read over and see if they recommend any tweaks.

Stick to these 10 principles and I am confident your CV will start getting the attention it needs. If not drop us a message and I am here to help – kaan@careersavenue.com

Author: Kaan Azmi

I have worked in the recruitment industry for over 20 years and have placed thousands of candidates in to their dream careers. I have always enjoyed passing my knowledge onto candidates to progress their careers. I provide information around CV and Coversheet writing, job search tips, interview techniques, salary negotiation, resignation letters, entrepreneurship, networking, first time jobber, graduate assessments, recruiter relationships, linkedin strategy, hiring, leadership & management, career fit, career change, career development, career goals, income & money. There are testimonials on the website and on my LinkedIn profile, please go and see the impact I have made on people's careers. My background has seen me start as a Resourcer which is where I learnt how to find candidates on job sites so I have a keen eye for a keyword in a CV. I then went onto become a Recruitment Consultant where I would engage with clients to understand their needs and deliver passive talent pools. I ended up managing teams of up to 30 individuals ensuring they achieved personal and company targets. I engage regularly on social media channels answering career based questions, feel free to look me up and connect! I am a family man, husband to Beks and father to my 3 boys. Well, 4 boys if you include Picasso our dog! Since I was a boy I have supported Liverpool FC, some would say I was a glory supporter however I started supporting them when they were not winning trophies and stuck with them through dark times. On wards and upwards and Liverpool FC are now achieving trophies on a regular basis. My aim is to help individual's with any aspect of their career, so please get in touch for more information on careers.

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