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7 things you must do when writing your CV in English

Imagine you're a recruiter hiring someone for a job in your company. You have 200 applicants for one vacancy, so you're not going to have much time to read every CV you have on your desk. I read somewhere that, on average, recruiters spend only 7 seconds reading each CV so you really need to make your resume stand out. Below are 7 ways to do this. You'll want to start with your name and contact details of course, and there's no need to write CV or Curriculum Vitae these days.  



1. Target your CV  

If you're applying for several jobs, you need to make sure each CV is designed for each vacancy. Check the job specification to ensure you have the skills and experience necessary, and make sure you highlight both of these throughout your application. Recruiters see hundreds of CVs every day and can spot a generic CV a mile off.  


2. Start strong with a great personal statement 

Your personal statement should go right at the top of your CV and should give the recruiter a good idea of who you are. It will also encourage them to read more of your CV if they like what they see. Here's a good example from 


Make sure you highlight your strengths and sell yourself, but don't invent strengths that you don't have! 


3. Have a clear list of your core skills  

Underneath your personal statement you should list your core/key skills. These can be 'hard' skills like a university degree, industry qualification or typing speed, or 'soft' skills like communication, leadership, problem solving and team working. Again, make sure that these align as closely as possible with the skills mentioned in the job specification. Set them out with bullet points so they are easy for the recruiter to read quickly.  


4. Experience and achievements 

You will probably have this listed already but make sure your work experience is set out clearly, with your most recent or current job right at the top. Most people detail their duties here but you have an opportunity to talk about your achievements here, so if you have some, put them in! For example instead of “I helped to increase social media engagement for Company X”,write “I increased social media engagement by 38% for Company X”. Recruiters are looking for people who can get results.  


5. Volunteering looks good too 

You don't need to list just paid jobs. If you have relevant experience as a volunteer, this can look really good to prospective employers. For a start, it shows that you're really keen to be in that particular sector and it's also a good opportunity for you to show the skills that you gained while working as a volunteer. If you don't have volunteer experience, you could talk about any in-work qualifications you have, or awards that you have been given.  


6. Education  

Don't forget to highlight any relevant education you have, especially if this will be your first job, or if you have retrained. If you have particularly good exam results, then highlight them and if you have done any particularly relevant modules or projects, make sure you describe them.  


7. Your hobbies and interests  

This section is optional, but it can add some useful colour to your application and give the recruiter a better idea of who you are as a person. It's also a way to increase your employability if you align with the company's offering. For instance, if you are applying for a job as in marketing for an e-scooter company, and you happen to be a keen cyclist, or have an interest in sustainability, so much the better 


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