7 steps on writing a successful CV – our comprehensive CV guide

Writing your CV can be really daunting. A CV or resume is a two- or three-page document that summarises your work experience, achievements, responsibilities, and skills. It is a really useful document to have and once you have created a general CV, you can enhance the master to suit specific job requirements when you are job hunting. So, open a new word document, set the font to arial 11 and get started!

Contact Details

Right at the top of the document put your name, email address, contact telephone number and the town and county that you live in. There is a trend for some American style CVs to include a photo, but this trend has not yet really caught on in the UK. If you do want to include a photo, make sure it is a recent professionally taken (ideally) head shot.

“Personal Profile” or “Personal Statement” or “About Me”

This should be a short paragraph (4 or 5 lines) that explains who you are, what you are offering, and what you are looking for. Mention your major qualifications, major achievements, and your ambitions. Include a list in bullet points that details your Areas of Expertise or Professional Skills and another list detailing Other Skills with adjectives that describe your behavioural qualities such as “team player” or “excellent problem solver” or “ability to analyse complex information”. If you are stuck, ask a trusted work colleague what they think are your most valuable attributes. Or look on the internet for some free self-assessment tests – such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator. This is one of the most important areas on your CV. It gives you a chance to sell yourself to the employer in an easy-to-digest paragraph. By summing up the specific skills and experience, you’ll be able to prove your suitability and convince the recruiter to read on.

Career History

Start with the most recent employer. Include the Job Title, the Dates you worked there and the Name of the Company and a brief summary of your key responsibilities. Quantify and mention any significant achievements that back up your skills. Use assertive and positive language like “developed”, “organised”, or “co-ordinated”. If you are stuck on this section look at your job description or think about what you spend your working time doing, and what are the consequences of your actions.

Make sure your responsibilities are bullet point lists. Your CV needs to be easy to read.

Education and Professional Qualifications

Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here, along with dates, the type of qualification and/or the grade you achieved – although the specific parts of education that you include in your CV will depend on your individual situation.

Other Interests

You don’t always need to include hobbies and interests in your CV, but mentioning relevant ones could back up your skills and help you to stand out from the crowd – not to mention give you something to talk about at an interview. Just don’t say you enjoy socialising with friends just for the sake of including something. If it’s not going to add value, leave it out.


Don’t just rely on the red wiggly line or double blue line that highlights typos and grammar mistakes. Read your CV through with an eagle eye and pass it on to some-one else to check out too.

Make sure you haven’t got one of these CV red flags!

Then save your work as a word document with your Name, Job Title and Date so that you and others can easily find it later.

Tailored CVs for Specific Jobs

Now you have created a master CV, keep it updated and tailor it to enhance your CV for specific jobs. Pay particular attention to the job description if there is one, or the job advert and make sure that your skills and examples you give on your CV reflect what the recruiter is looking for.

If you found this article interesting and want to know more, here’s our list of CV writing tips.

Find your next position

At Benjamin Edwards we do advertise some vacancies on mainstream job websites.  However, we predominantly fill positions through direct networking, headhunting and our existing contacts.
Here at Benjamin Edwards we offer a consultative, personal, and honest service to all our candidates. We are great listeners and really get to know you well.  We will offer you consistent support along your recruitment journey, whether that be in Accountancy & Finance, Marketing, IT, Procurement, HR, Office, or Management & Executive.

The Benjamin Edwards litmus test for recruiting into a company is “would we enjoy working there?”

Call us today on 01522 412066


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