Recruiting 101: How to Write a Successful CV

Careers Team

We’re back with the latest edition of our Recruiting 101 series. Earlier this month we helped you craft the perfect cover letter and now it’s time to move on to the CV! We’ve enlisted the help of two of our tech recruiters, Lily and Stephen, to talk us through how to write a winning CV.

Let’s start with the basics:


Why is a CV important?

Stephen, Senior Technical Recruiter: A CV is supposed to be your friend, It’s there to sell you. Any experienced recruiter who knows what to look for will spend a minimal amount of time scanning it. Make a good impression.

Lily, Tech Recruiter:  A CV is the first impression a company will have of  you.  A well written CV will increase the chance of getting that first interview that could possibly lead to your next dream job!

What should you include in your CV?

Stephen: My answers are more focused on ‘best practices’.

- Maximum of Two-Three Pages: Don’t go mental.  

- Do your research: What does the company you are applying to want, what will impress them? Tailor your CV accordingly.

- Proofread: It amazes me how many basic errors I  find on the CV’s of some very highly educated individuals.

- The beef: Make sure there is enough ‘meat on the bone’ by making it crystal clear what your responsibilities were for each role, technologies used etc.

Lily: A good CV should always include the following 5 things:

- Up to date contact details

- A bite sized summary of yourself: think of it as an elevator pitch about yourself in 3 bullet points.

- Your previous work experience: make sure this matches your Linkedin profile

- Key Skills: include any skills you have learnt such as secretarial or IT skills.

- Education: University degrees and graduation results

What are some things that people should avoid when writing a CV?


- Making it look like some abstract art installation by using special fonts, garish colours and boxes inserted almost at random.

- Spelling and grammar mistakes. If it’s not in your native language ask someone who speaks the lingo to proofread it.

- ANY photographs (personal preference).


- Overly creative designs, different colours or fonts. These make your CV harder to read  and will most likely will be lost in the company's database.

- Spelling mistakes - always double check your spelling or have someone else proofread it.

- Business Buzzwords - Avoiding these will make you come across more genuine.

- Excessive work experience details - no one is interested in what you did 10 years ago.

What, as a recruiter, do you look out for in particular on a CV?

Stephen: Firstly, an avoidance of the above. Secondly i’m looking for a CV which is easy to navigate and gets to the point.

Lily: Companies look for people who can solve specific business challenges.  The more you can prove that you have tackled similar challenges in the past the more likely you will get an interview.

Top Tips?


- If English isn’t your native language then have your CV checked over by someone who is native (if possible of course).

- Keep it to 2-3 pages .

- Keep it relevant.

Lily: Recruiters and hiring managers view lots of CVs every single day.  The key is to present the information so that it is easy to find:

- Keep it simple

- Short - 1 to 2 pages

- Use bullet points

Big thanks to Lily and Stephen for sharing their advice on how to create the perfect CV. If you are interested in learning more about our recruiting process here at GetYourGuide, we have tons of helpful guides on our blog.  Best of luck!

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