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CV advice

Is your CV letting you down?

Your CV is likely to be the most important document you will ever produce.  It will open the door to you getting an interview for your dream job – or not.  The tips below will help you to make sure it does.


Make an impact

Your CV needs to make an impact from the start.  Many hiring managers will not take the time to read your full CV if it doesn’t grab them quickly, particularly if they have a lot to review.

Therefore, make sure the first page contains some headline information about your strengths and achievements.  Make these specific – avoiding clichéd words and phrases such as ‘dynamic and proactive’ or ‘works well on own initiative or as part of a team’.  Think about what might make you genuinely different from other candidates, including specific achievements you’ve had in your career.  Then incorporate these into a short but attention-grabbing personal profile.


Keep it punchy

Depending on the length of your career, your CV should never be more than three pages long and will ideally be two.  No recruiter wants to spend a long time reading your CV, attempting to disseminate the relevant information from it. Therefore:

  • Go into the most detail on your 1-2 more recent roles.  Briefly summarise earlier roles (unless they contain experience particularly pertinent to a role you are applying to) – just a date, company and job title may suffice.
  • Keep sentences short.  Avoid using flowery language.
  • Use bullet points rather than prose to list your achievements

Remember, virtually every Financial Controller can produce a set of monthly management accounts or a budget.  Therefore don’t waste space listing ‘duties and responsibilities’ that will look the same as the next candidate’s CV,  instead, list your career ‘achievements’ and think about the following:

  • Where have you really added value?  Can you make it tangible?  For example, writing ‘Implemented a standard costing system which resulted in a £100k reduction in wastage year-on-year’ is likely to secure you an interview over someone who has simply listed ‘Standard Costing’ under their responsibilities.


Make it relevant

Wherever possible, tailor your CV to specific roles that you are applying for.  Read the role description, and make sure your CV contains any relevant achievements.  Conversely, to keep it punchy take out any experience that’s irrelevant to the role.

If applying to a role through Butler Rose, we will give you as much insight into the role and company as we can, so that you can make your CV as relevant as possible.


Proofread it!

There are few things more likely to lead to your CV being rejected than if it’s littered with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or dates that don’t make sense.

Therefore, double check it, triple check it and - if you can - ask a friend or relative to read it for you and tell you what they think.

Alternatively… speak to one of our expert consultants at Butler Rose, who will be delighted to proofread your CV for you and give you some honest advice on where you might be able to improve it.

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