How to Write the Perfect CV

Searching for a new job is a time-consuming, energy-sapping affair – and unfortunately, it doesn't always get easier as you get older. At the heart of the whole process should be your CV, but in the midst of everything else, it can get neglected. In theory, all it should need is a quick scan for typos and an update on your latest position and qualifications. In reality, it’s more complicated than that, especially if you’re at a senior level and you haven’t applied for a job in some years.

Before you start applying, devote some time to perfecting your resumé. After all, you may be excellent at interviews, but you won't get in the room if you don't look good on paper.

Be tech savvy

We live in a tech-centric world and your CV should reflect that. No, we’re not talking about a coding qualification, we’re talking about setting out your CV so that it pleases applicant tracking systems. An applicant tracking system scans a CV for key details, logging them in a searchable database. When the recruiter wants to find the ideal candidate, they enter their desired characteristics, skills and experience. If you’ve plugged in those skills (and avoided odd formatting like tables and text boxes) your name should pop up.

The takeaway? If you find your dream job listing, try working those desired buzzwords into your CV – without, of course, bending the truth.

Be social media savvy

In this day and age, your CV has to be aligned with your online presence. This primarily relates to your LinkedIn profile (yes, you need one) but can also involve Twitter and Facebook. The idea is this: if your potential employer searches your name, they should see the same values, skills and experience listed on your CV reflected in your social media accounts.

A personal page is allowed, but it can be a good idea to make it clear in your profile that it has nothing to do with work.

Focus on your achievements

Listing responsibilities at your various jobs is important – but try and make your achievements the focus. What were you tasked with and how did you fulfil, or exceed, your employer's expectations? For maximum effect, include "measurables" - clear figures that relate to budgets you handled, or money you saved your company. If you can frame your daily routine around these kinds of numbers, you’ll make for a far more impressive and interesting CV.

Think about your audience

Common advice states that your CV should be rejigged for every job application, but it’s not just about switching things around to prioritise the required skills. Keep in mind the kind of company you are applying to – what is their ethos? What kind of applicant are they searching for? And how can you reflect their values in your CV and cover letter? This mode of thinking will also prove beneficial when it comes to the interview process.

Proofread, proofread, proofread

You might not think it, but a single typo can derail an entire job application. A huge proportion of employers and recruiters will automatically reject a CV if they spot a typing error, poor grammar or punctuation, or a misspelt word. If SPaG isn’t always your strong suit, you should always ask a friend or co-worker to read it before you press send.

If you’re seeking a new career and you aren’t sure where to start, Mosaic Search & Selection can help.  Kickstart the process by submitting your profile and CV today at