Our top 5 CV tips


T Level Results Day

There are some shocking statistics that have come out of the recent Youth Employment Census regarding how unprepared young people feel about work. One of those statistics is that just 44.6% of 19-24 year olds think they can write a decent CV!

So, as a not-for-profit that interviews 100s of amazing young people every year to prepare them for a job with a company that cares, we thought we’d roll out our top five tips to help you write an eye-catching CV to bag your next interview!

1. Grab the recruiter’s attention

Did you know that on average recruiters spend just 6-8 seconds looking at a CV? That’s why it’s so important to write a little summary about you that will grab the recruiter’s attention right from the get-go. You don’t need to make outrageous claims or try to be funny – just briefly explain (at the top of your CV) who you are and why you’d be a good hire.

This introduction shapes the context for the rest of your CV and your whole application. You should also tweak this intro for each job that you’re applying for, so it’s relevant to the role on offer.

2. Summarise your skills

Be sure to compare the skills that you’ve gained from previous roles, school or social situations to what your potential employer is looking for. Have a read of the job description and person specification, then note down the skills that match and list these on your CV.

Remember, it is also about transferable skills. If you are applying for a completely different role to anything you have done before, use skills from your previous work or education and tailor them to the role that you are applying to now.

Give examples of these skills for each previous job that you list.

3. Sell yourself

As a nation we can find it hard to be positive about ourselves, but this is your time to shine by highlighting why you are the best for the role. Make sure your CV sells ‘you’ and sounds positive!

Hiring managers are really busy and go through loads of CVs when recruiting for a role. This is why you have to stand out from the competition. Think of a CV as unlocking the door to an interview – and make sure your cover letter also encapsulates ‘why you’.

4. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes

Did you know that 43% of CVs are disregarded because they are written in the 3rd person or due to spelling and grammar errors?

Even though you might be applying for a job where spelling and grammar are not important to the role, a CV with mistakes can leave an employer feeling that you haven’t taken the time to read through your application. For some recruiters, this can give them the sense that you are carless or don’t take pride in your work.

If you are not confident with your spelling and grammar, get someone else to check your CV for you before sending it off.

5. Mention training and education

Have you included your educational achievements from school, college, university or any additional training that you have completed?

When you are young, you might not have much work experience, so it’s important to put in your qualifications. If you feel you didn’t do that well at school, put in information about sports teams, awards or other achievements you picked up at the time too.

Please don’t be tempted to lie about your results. 52% of people believe they need to lie in order to secure an interview but 47.3% of people have found that their lies did not work. Don’t put extra pressure on yourself if you do secure an interview, and remember, for junior roles employers often want someone they can train up in the business themselves, so you don’t need to know everything already.

What next?

If you want a career with a company that cares, email us your CV at [email protected] with information on where you’re based in the UK, the type of job you are looking for and ‘why you!’. We can then reach out to our supportive businesses to see if we can get you a great entry-level job.

Chamber talent