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Making your CV stand out

By Newcastle University

A well-crafted CV is the perfect way to make a great first impression with a recruiter.

Did you know that on average a CV has 7 seconds to grab an employer’s attention?

With a very short space of time to make an impact, your CV should showcase who you are, with highlight examples of your experience, skills and achievements.

Make sure your CV stands out to recruiters by following our top CV writing tips.


Creating your CV

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  • Remember to include your personal contact information.

Include your name, address, phone number and professional email address. You can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile.

  • Give specific examples of your knowledge, experience, skills and achievements that are relevant to the job role that you are applying for.

A great way to ensure that you tailor the examples that you use within your CV is by using the job description or person specification as a guide.

Why not take a look at the Careers Service CV Writing: Where To Start video on our YouTube Channel to help get you started?


Structuring your CV

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  • Keep your CV clear and concise, limiting it to two pages maximum.

For most job roles within the UK a CV is no more than two pages in length. Make sure to choose to add your CV your most important and relevant skills and experiences for the job role that you are applying for.

  • Order your CV with the most relevant information first.

It may help to think about what skills, experiences and knowledge you have that meet the job criteria most, for instance is it your degree, your work experience or voluntary work that you have undertaken?

For more information on how to structure your CV, you may wish to take a look at the Careers Service CV Principles information on our website.


Speak the Employer's Language

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  • Include the language that the employer uses as part of the job description within your CV.

Analyse the language the recruiter uses. Can you use these keywords to demonstrate your skills and experience? Some employers use software to read CVs, so it’s important to make sure you include the keywords from the job description and person specification in your CV if you can. Our CV & Covering Letter workbook and CareerSet both have a list of ‘Action words’ you can use in your CV.


Demonstrate your Achievements and Skills

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  • Create a story with your examples of your relevant knowledge, achievements, and skills.

Make sure to give plenty of examples of your successes and strengths, providing a recruiter with plenty of context so that they understand all of your personal achievements.

  • Include examples of your skills, knowledge and successes that you have gained from you extra-curricular activities and interests.

Think of experience, skills and knowledge you have gained from these activities and include them within your CV as areas that could spark a recruiter’s interest and give them an insight into who you are.


It’s all in the detail

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  • Check your CV carefully for spelling and grammar errors.

It may help for you to ask someone that you know to read over your CV to help ensure that your language, grammar and spellings are correct.

  • Choose your font type and size as well as use of italics, bold and underlining carefully.

The format of your CV should be consistent and professional. Why not take a look at some Careers Service CV examples to help get your started?


Your CV is your opportunity to show a potential employer that you are the right candidate for the job. It is important to take your time developing your CV to ensure that it truly shows who you are.
Why not use our new online tool Career Set at any time to upload your CV to? The software will give you automated advice on areas of your CV that you can improve upon and develop.

Careers Service