Maxwell Stephens

Getting your CV and Skill Set into Shape

The internet has changed human attention spans. And that’s scientific fact! We’re now so overloaded with information on almost a minute-by-minute basis that, for something to be noticed and fully digested, is a real achievement.


This has affected the world of the CV. We now have a few seconds to catch an employer’s attention. But that’s only the start of it. After that, we have to get them to read your CV and commit to a course of action.


Here at Maxwell Stephens, we’re unique in that we have professional copy writers on hand to truly get across how great the jobs we have are and how well you’d fit into them. When we’ve got a superb candidate for a role where we know the fit would be amazing between employee and employer, we also really sell you well.


The job all starts on the CV though. Brevity, clarity and hard-hitting words – they’re the three keys to how Maxwell Stephens constructively enhances our candidates’ CVs before sending them for consideration.


Your help is an absolute essential to this though. All our efforts start from what you send us. We thought we’d spend a little time talking you through some of the main points in writing an outstanding CV that really makes employers sit up and wonder where you’ve been all their professional lives?




Throughout your whole CV, try to use as much “telegraphese” as possible. “Telegraphese” is a style of language which uses “clipped…writing that attempts to abbreviate words and pack as much information into the smallest possible number of words”. (Source: Wikipedia)

Avoid the use of the first person singular pronoun and its derivatives. In other words, stop using “I” – try to imagine that you’re writing this report about someone else. By dropping “I”, it also removes the feeling that you might be “boasting” with parts of your CV.




Try to make your summary as short as you possibly can. Go for six or seven sentences. Once you’ve finished up with a version you are happy with, then try to shorten the summary down to three or four sentences.

The summary of your article is the reason they will keep reading on. Think of the summary as the “50% OFF” sign you see in shop windows that retailers use to lure you in.


Features & Benefits


If you’re familiar with the world of sales, you’ll have heard of “features” and “benefits”. If this is not your world, this is why they’re important.

A “feature” describes what something or someone has, a “benefit” describes what that something or someone can do for you. Employers are only interested in what you can do for them so writing up your CV with benefits rather than features gets the point across a lot faster and without the need for interpretation.


If written with features, your CV might include the following:


  • – Microsoft Office
  • – Client management
  • – Concept/PPM help desk proficient

Every FM recruiter will KNOW what you mean when you give across these bullet points as either part of the skills section of your CV or as part of describing a previous job. But, it’s better to try to make them FEEL how brilliant you would be by using benefits, for example…

  • – Highly skilled at Excel, Word & Powerpoint for use in report preparation & presentation
  • – Superb track record of keeping clients (occupiers, landlords) informed, involved and happy
  • – Powerful use of Concept/PPM help desk so all stakeholders are kept up-to-date with buildings, plants, assets, new task addition and reporting needs.




The second description is YOU. The first description is a shadow of you. Yes, they say exactly the same thing but the meaning and value of using benefits to describe yourself is much more meaningful to the reader.


Before we end this piece, a little bit about the power of adjectives. Try to use as many of the following adjectives in your CV as you can to really push that point home…


“professional, powerful, valuable, endorsed, skill, shrewd, unlock, challenge, highest, expert, approved, innovative, crammed, growth, greatest, amazing, exciting, excellent, unique, pioneering, complete, quality, breakthrough, proven, reward, delighted, energy, outstanding, bottom line, technology, quick, direct.”


Take out your CV now. Commit to spending the next two hours shortening and sharpening it. Then send it to one of the recruitment experts here at Maxwell Stephens for feedback. You can also use your contact with us to update your details on our massive candidate database.


Let’s get this started – call us on 0207 118 48 48 or email us at

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