How to improve a simple CV

cwilko2011 By cwilko2011, 17th Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Jobs>CV

Having worked through a series of cycles of recruitment within the retail sector, there are some key things to look out for when writing a CV. If you follow these simple tips it may help your chances of being noticed.

Keep it simple.

The number one rule, one that is sometimes forgotten, is to keep your CV simple. There is nothing worse when reading through hundreds of CV's to find one that is not easy on the eyes. Here is a list of ultimate no no's.

- Always use white paper.
- Use a professional font.
-Check formatting - make sure you use the same font and size throughout.
- Spelling and Grammar! Always check, there is no excuse when you have spellchecker!
- Do not add pictures, in the majority of cases it is unnecessary.
- Shy away from long paragraphs, keep it punchy.
- Be Honest, it takes only takes a second in an interview to eek out any untruths.

To Begin

When writing a CV, always look online first and see what the industry standard is for your sector. In most cases they are simple and only need basic information, it all depends on the job you are applying for. If it is a simple retail job then all you will need is two pages at the most.

Think of a good opening line in your personal statement at the top! Something individual will grab the readers attention far better than the standard:

"I work well in a team and competently on my own"

While this may be true, it certainly will not stand out. This is the most over-used phrase that I have found in CV's. Make it personal, the potential employer is looking for personality as well as competency.


The content that you put throughout the CV is imperative to give the interviewer an overview of the person you are. There is a very good chance that the interviewer will have read over your CV before the interview. Here is an example of a simple layout that will give your CV a simple but effective flow.

- Personal Information (name, address, contact details)
- Personal Statement. (A short punchy paragraph)
- Educational Information. (GCSE, BTEC, A Levels, Degree)
- Work Experience. (Your most recent first)
- Competencies. (If you have any other training i.e. first aid/specific training)
- Personal Interests. (This will give the interviewer an insight into your life outside of work)
- References.

This should all fit neatly into two pages. If you make it much longer then it will be more of a chore for the interviewer to read.

First impressions

I'm not saying that by following these rules that you are guaranteed to get the first job you apply for, your CV is merely a snapshot of who you are. It does however help if you have a clean, concise, interesting CV that will jump out at the employer.

Always reflect what you have put in your CV. If you say that you are confident, be confident (but not cocky) Your CV acts as your first impression in most cases, if you have written a bad CV it does not give a good first impression.

When you have written your CV, always read it back. You will be surprised how many mistakes can occur without the spellcheck picking up on, that is to say, do not trust spell checker implicitly.

Lastly, try not to stress. A CV is a starting point, you can always elaborate on the information that you have put in your CV.

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author avatar saurik
20th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you for sharing this beneficial article cwilko2011.

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author avatar Goodnesss
26th Jun 2011 (#)

thanks a lot for your info.

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