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7 Secrets to a Stand-Out CV

7 Secrets to Make Your CV Stand Out
Posted: May 2020

As busy search consultants, there are certain things that we look out for in the CV’s we receive – here we share our top 7 CV secrets that can help yours stand out from the crowd.

1. Straight-forward language and bullet points:

Nothing is more off-putting than having to search for important information. As communicators, we expect your CV to project the vital statistics in an upfront and easy-to read manner tailored to your target audience (i.e. us, the client, the job you’re applying for). Leave flowery language and purple prose for the novelists.

2. Stand-out CVs highlight measurable achievements:

Your CV should actively demonstrate the value you have added to your current and previous employers, rather than just describing your responsibilities.

Rather than just saying ‘I worked on x campaign’, spell out how this campaign reached target (eg: ‘I worked on x campaign, which received coverage in x number of publications and increased sales by x amount…’). New business wins and media contacts are also helpful.

3. Tell your story in inverse chronological order

We like to know how you have progressed throughout your career, so do list your roles in inverse chronological order (with the most recent role first). State your achievements for each role.

We’re more interested in career history than academic and personal interests, so ensure the CV is weighted accordingly, with career history following contact information.

4. Remember to SELL and not TELL your story

This is your ‘selling card’ and an opportunity for you to tell your story in a good light so using positive words and adjectives will help (eg successfully initiated x…).

5. Save the best for first

Make sure the first three bullet points under each job are the best (i.e. your biggest successes and achievements) as these are the ones which are most likely to be read. 

6. Be specific in your personal profile

Whether you add a personal profile or a brief bio in your CV is a matter of taste, but we like them to be a summary of you - what makes you interesting and what’s unique to you. 

Don’t talk about being a great communicator and team player as these are generic terms.  Think about what makes YOU unique – are you a former broadcast journalist with extensive international media contacts around the world who also speaks French and Italian? 

7. Make your CV easy to access

If your CV includes photos, quotes or a lengthy hobby list, please ensure the entire CV is no longer than 2 pages. A link to an online CV, rather than a Word or PDF copy, may be more novel but it isn’t as easy to access or user friendly. Keep it simple!

We wish you all the best for your job search!



The Works Search a search consultancy specialising in PR and corporate communications. We have unrivalled matching abilities and known for finding the top 5% performers in the industry - the ones who deliver and make your reputation great. For more advice or market insights, do get in touch with us on 0207 903 9291 or email sarah@the-works.co.uk

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