Five fast ways to jazz up your CV


They quantify your achievements and people remember them, says Richard Maun in his book Job Hunting 3.0. Saying that you “saved money” or “improved the business” are meaningless. Saying that you “saved the company £200,000 a year” or that you “increased sales by 20 per cent” will grab the interviewer’s attention and make him curious about the story behind the number, giving you a chance to sell yourself.

Tear the first page of your CV in half. Does the top half leap out on its own? Think of it like the front page of a newspaper. The reader needs to have seen your personal profile and your first two achievements by half-way down the first page. Also make sure your CV is no more than two pages long, and always put your name at the top and bottom of each page, just in case they get separated.

Nobody ever said they were a bad communicator, lazy or lacked passion. Prove that you have the qualities you want to highlight rather than just stating that you do. Tell the reader what you have done, and he will infer the qualities that you want to prove you have. Things like “entrepreneurial skills” are unquantifiable. If you set up a business, say so. Otherwise you are not an entrepreneur, however much you might like to be one

Think about presentation. Use a sans-serif font, with no smaller than 11-point type – any smaller and it looks like you couldn’t edit your CV. Make sure there’s enough white space to make it look nice. Avoid crazy designs or too much colour. Simple is best. Also, if possible send your CV in paper form. It is harder to lose than an email, and good quality paper makes a good impression. As Maun says: “People do judge books by their covers, otherwise they’d all have plain brown ones.”

It is the first thing that the interviewer reads. So be relevant in your profile, and pin yourself to the job that was advertised by using words that already appear in the advert. Include industry-specific keywords, brand names and countries you have worked in. Do not use “I”, use the third-person as this makes it easier to read. And above all don’t forget to be interesting – if there is a juicy detail that will make them remember you (“the one who did the Goldman Sachs deal”) then you will have improved your chances.