Your Guide To The Perfect CV

By Richa Arora, Talent Partner (Marketing, Comms & PR) at Major Players 

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the UK job market with over 498,000 redundancies within the first five months of the crisis. As a result, HR News have reported that marketing agencies in London have seen an average 106% increase in the number of applicants applying for jobs, compared to a year ago.

However, with every crisis comes great opportunity and indications within the jobs market, specifically the creative industries, with 35% of businesses still hiring and 55% planning to hire within the coming months. Now more than ever, it’s important that your CV stands out from the crowd in a very competitive market.


What to include on your CV

Research suggest that recruiters and hiring managers spend as little as 6 seconds on average scanning an applicant’s CV, therefore you have limited opportunity to get their attention. If you have 10 years’ experience or less, your CV should fit on 2 sides of A4 paper, so it’s important to keep it concise with the following:

  •  Experience – you should include relevant experience with the most recent at the top of your CV. Anything not appropriate should be included at the end as a one or two liner. Be sure to hyperlink where appropriate so the hiring manager can flick between your CV and external sites

  • Responsibilities & Achievements – highlight your responsibilities and what effect your role had on the business . i.e. campaign X achieved over 6,000 blog views which resulted in XX number of sales (you should also consider putting these on your covering letter too)

  • Advanced & Basic Skills - be sure to include in a formative list your skills, ranging from basic skills such as communication and organization, to more advanced skills, such as proficiency in Microsoft Office or design packages

Remember to always send you CV as a PDF so that it cannot be edited.


What else do employers look for?

Hiring managers want to see how you’d fit in to the role you’re applying for – so make sure you tailor your CV appropriately. If it’s not relevant to the role, then don’t include it.

Be wary that hiring managers go through hundreds of CV’s every day, so try to be imaginative and think outside the box. With that though, good formatting is incredibly important, so don’t get too fancy with fonts and stick between 10-12 in size to ensure the CV is legible and presentable. You can visually make your CV more interesting to stand out, but don’t do this at the expense of the content.

Try to remain concise and remember the main thing that is going to help you stand out is you – your personality, passion and purpose. Employers are also looking for whether you’d be a good cultural fit – this can be hard to get across on a CV, but you might want to include a line or two about your interests outside of work, but make sure whatever you includes is appropriate i.e. social impact interest etc.


What not to include on your CV

It sounds obvious but do not include anything that is not relevant to the job you’re applying for. Also, do not include any personal information such as home address, DOB and personal social media links (unless it’s LinkedIn or pertinent to the job you’re applying for). You’re not required to put your photo on your CV either – I highly recommend against doing this.

Finally, avoid lying and swearing (you don’t look edgy!) at all costs – employers will find out and ultimately it will backfire on you.


How to use LinkedIn to amplify your CV

LinkedIn is a vital tool for most professionals, with over 570 million users worldwide and it’s vital for connecting with relevant contacts, and building your personal brand via your networks. In 2019, it’s reported that 35% of people were hired as a result of one of their connections. Therefore, it is very important to accommodate your CV with a strong and up to date LinkedIn profile.

Essentially, you want to mirror your CV digitally using the LinkedIn platform highlighting responsibilities and achievements, while showcasing your work. Recommendations from colleagues or previous employers are also significant to help indicate what skills you have, your work ethic and what you’re like to work with.


If you’d like to discuss your CV or want any additional support in crafting it, then please get in touch with us here.