How to get a first-rate CV

An outstanding CV versus a mediocre one can most definitely be the difference between getting an interview or not. To get where you want to be, you have to sell yourself and make a great impression on paper first to get your foot through the door.

With this in mind, it is amazing to see how many people have a poor CV that undersells them (having spent little time on it) or do not have a CV at all.


So why is a CV so important?

Your CV is the first impression that someone gets of you. Its purpose is to summarise you, your career and educational history and experience to date.  A CV needs to sell your strengths and transferrable skills and ultimately make the reader want to meet you.

If you put yourself in the position of an employer or recruiter looking at your CV for the first time, ask yourself whether it sells you and reads logically and accurately. If it’s not enticing, it needs work.


girl writingTop 10 tips for a first-rate CV

  1. Focus on your strengths and transferrable skills – ask yourself what you did in your previous jobs that could be useful in another organisation and for the specific job you are applying for, eg use of a particular software package, meeting customers face to face etc.
  2. Write a short statement at the top or use bullet points to summarise you, your strengths, expertise and achievements, customised to suit the specific job you are applying for.
  3. Ensure your career history is in a logical and coherent order with your most recent position first; always include all jobs, dates and explain career breaks and avoid gaps.
  4. For your education, show your highest level achievement first. If you are early on in your career and your experience is limited, be careful not to pad it out with too much unnecessary detail.
  5. When giving information about previous employers, include a few words about what the company specialised in – this gives the reader a quick snapshot of what industries you have worked in.
  6. desk shotIdeally your CV should be two pages long, three at most, to keep the interest of the reader and show you can be concise.
  7. Proof-read your CV thoroughly before sending it to anyone and ask a friend to read it too to get another opinion. Poor grammar and spelling are a quick-fire way to get eliminated from the recruitment process, as it shows a lack of attention to detail and effort put into your application.
  8. Ensure your CV and LinkedIn profile are consistent (differences ring alarm bells with potential employers).
  9. Be honest – people who lie on CV’s often get found out at some stage.
  10. Avoid – including too much detail, personal information, hobbies that could create a negative impression, vague statements, salary expectations, a photograph, reasons for leaving your last job or an inappropriate email address.


Let us create your CV for you

Creating a CV can be time consuming or seem daunting, especially if you are starting from scratch or have not updated it for a long time. If you want a compelling CV but need some help creating it, Aspire Cambridge offer a superb CV Writing Service.

The CV Writing Service was set up in response to demand; it was clear that more and more people wanted a standout CV but didn’t have the time or expertise to build it.

Our CV writing expert Samantha Beasley is Fraser Hill trained with years of hands-on CV writing experience. She knows what works and what doesn’t, the best layouts to use and how to tailor the content for different jobs and industries.

There are three packages available, ranging from £24.99 to £74.99 – for more information on what’s included click here.

What are the benefits of Aspire’s CV Writing Service?

Ultimately we save people time and effort and help to give them the best chance of getting an interview for the job or type of role they are looking for.

Don’t just take our word for it…

“Having been working, for many years, in one job and never really owning a CV, I was thrilled  to meet up with Sam who managed to provide some real focus and a professional CV which I was really pleased with. Thanks Sam.” April 2015

“Samantha’s CV service was excellent in helping ensure I presented myself as well as possible toward potential employers. After a lengthy and very pleasant interview, she created a well-formatted CV and letter, and even updated my LinkedIn profile. She was in contact with me at every stage to ensure I was happy, and I’m now much better prepared for when I spot an exciting new job.” February 2015

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for help in updating my CV, Sam. The service I have received from you has been first class.” February 2015


Interested? Click here to find out more about our CV Writing Service and fill in a short form for the package you prefer.

To find out how Aspire Cambridge can help you to find the perfect role or candidate, call our team today on 01223 855440, or email us your CV to

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