Creating a Standout CV

Creating a stand out CV

Your CV is an employer’s first impression of you, so you need to make it a good one! Employers these days can receive anywhere between 30 – 80 CVs per role so you need to grab their attention quickly. Here are 5 Dos and Don’ts for creating your standout CV:


TAILOR YOUR CV TO THE ROLE – Look closely at the job description to identify exactly what they’re looking for, then tailor your CV by highlighting and giving more prominence to the experience you have that meets those requirements.

KEEP IT CONCISE – Your CV should be only 1-2 pages long. Ensure you’re making the most of the space by only including the most relevant information.

CREATE A NEAT LAYOUT – Use a font that can be read easily, ensure there is space between each section, and most importantly, check spelling and grammar, and flow, so you can be sure it reads easily.

HIGHLIGHT KEY ACHIEVEMENTS – There is nothing more impressive than tangible achievements when it comes to standing out. If you’ve saved your company money, perhaps you’ve been nominated for an industry award or managed a major project, make sure you highlight this and mention any relevant figures.

BE CREATIVE – Online, you’ll find so many tools and ideas for adding a more contemporary look to your CV. Consider the industry you’re entering to select an appropriate style. A different CV design to the standard template will really make your CV standout.


TELL YOUR LIFE STORY – Recruiters simply don’t have time these days to read through reams and reams of information. So stick to the important stuff, making sure it’s relevant to the role.

CHOOSE STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE – Getting creative with layout is great, however try not to overcomplicate the design, as it could distract the recruiter from your experience and achievements.

INCLUDE PERSONAL INFORMATION – Your marital status, race or date of birth should not be included on your CV, as you could be at risk of discrimination. Your name and contact details on each page will do the job.

LIE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE – Sometimes we have a tendency to exaggerate a little on our CV, however lying is a definite no-no. Eventually you will get caught out which could lead to a damaged reputation or even termination of your employment.

HAVE A ONE SIZE FITS ALL APPROACH – Creating one standard CV and sending it to all potential roles won’t get you the outcome you’re hoping for. Recruiters will struggle to see how your experience relates to the job description, so tailor your CV and get on that ‘YES’ pile!

Good Luck!

Peter Forshaw, Managing Director, Maxwell Stephens