ERP Associates

Writing the Perfect CV

At VMR Consultants we value our candidates as people not products. With this in mind we take a vested interest in the presentation of our candidates, from arranging transport to dress code to interview preparation. Writing a strong CV is your first step towards securing a new position. It gives potential employers an initial impression of you and can even be more important than the interview itself.

In the short time that HR authorities spend deciding whether or not to consider a candidate’s CV (around 6-10 seconds) they will focus on current and previous title, company, position, education, start and end dates. It is therefore critical to place this information in a clear visual hierarchy away from elements that might distract or otherwise hamper the client’s decision-making process.

Ask our recruitment consultants for specific advice and follow our simple CV guide to learn how to sell your skills and capitalise on your most valuable assets.

The CV Screen

The manager recruiting for the position that you apply for will be faced with an enormous pile of CVs which will likely be split into 3 piles: 

  • Yes – Interview
  • No – Reject
  • Maybe – Revisit if Yes pile fails

For your CV to land in the Yes pile it must clearly state the skills you have to offer, ideally with your most relevant skills listed at the top. An initial scan of your CV takes only a second so your skill-set needs to be discernible – this is particularly important in technical recruitment. Check out our IT-oriented "Yes and No" Guide for passing the initial CV screening.

Yes
  • Writing in the 3rd person with active verbs
  • Highlight technical skills and organise them according to the position
  • Provide extensive details on your past/current position and what the work entails
  • State numbers to emphasise success in past projects
  • Include an objective that sets out what you are looking for from your next employment.
  • Keep it concise (1-2 pages, excluding work samples and cover letter)
  • Visually friendly layout with perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Provide up-to-date references
  • Identify your unique selling point
  • Include work permit details (if applicable)
No
  • Longer than 4 pages (excluding work samples and cover letter)
  • Generic cover letter
  • No mention of technology-specific skills on front page
  • Unfriendly layout and poor spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Unclear filename or format for CV (digital)
  • Inaccurate details about past employment
  • Inaccurate work, achievement or work information


These pointers are by no means exhaustive, there are a number of miscellaneous elements to factor in that will vary depending on the specifications of your vacancy.

For example, researching the company and its employee might afford you some insight into whose desk your CV will land on. It is likewise advisable to break down your technical skills by project, the number of staff involved, timescale, technologies worked with and your personal role could all be relevant and impressive details for your prospective employer.

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