Top tips for how to write a great CV

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Eleven team Candidate toolkit, Candidate resources

Top tips for how to write a great CV


We are often asked by candidates how to write a CV and we’ve compiled a list of our top tips so that you can get it right first time.

Back to basics

When writing a CV, be sure to always include key sections to cover your career history, education, interests and personal information. Here at Eleven Recruitment – the new name for Oil Recruitment - we’re not big fans of personal statements and much prefer to see concrete career achievements. The very best CVs are concise, precise and focus on hard facts and evidence of real accomplishment.

Content – everything has to sell your skills

  • Be concise and quantifiable. Don’t include vague or intangible achievements eg. ‘I met my targets for the year’
  • Keep it professional. Make sure that your email address looks professional – we’ve seen heygrrrrrl@ and it’s not a good look!
  • Don’t overshare. Any private data such as your passport number or ID can be supplied further down the line where necessary
  • Don’t waffle. If you’ve got a career gap, explain simply and concisely why it’s there but don’t make it too long
  • Don’t mislead or be economical with the truth. There's a fine line between selling yourself well and teetering into being dishonest
  • Avoid buzzwords and trendy jargon. Fact: no one ‘snorkels in think tanks’

Formatting – go steady on the SmartArt!

  • Keep it short. Remember less is more. Don’t go over 3 pages. If you’ve had lots of jobs in your career, condense anything older than 10 years and keep it super succinct
  • Keep it simple. Unless you’re a designer, leave off flowery pictures, variations of text colour, fonts and other ‘look at me’ aspects. Your CV needs to be clean, simple and to the point
  • Check for mistakes. We still see basic spelling and grammatical errors all the time and inconsistency in presentation style. Because this is often a red line for employers, we're here to provide a second pair of eyes and will work with you to get your CV perfect before it is presented to a client

For more tips on how to write a CV and make yours stand out from the crowd please feel free to contact the team.