How to write up a winning CV

Did you know? Research shows that recruiters spend about 20 seconds reading each CV so you only have 20 seconds to impress.

We are happy to share with you some ideas how to polish your CV presentation and maximize your chances to be picked up from a candidate pool.

Ideally, a CV should always be put together in Word and as a rule of thumb it should be broken down as follows:

  50% – work experience
  30% – personal information (contact details, profile, hobbies)
  20% – education and skills

Space out your CV well and keep it concise – 2 pages is a standard. Your most recent experience should receive the greatest exposure and if you have been in the workforce for a number of years simply list the position, company name and dates of jobs you had more than 7 years ago.


Your main aim is to convey your experience, the skills that make you a great prospect, and to convey a little bit about the type of person you are.

A good way to put it together is:

  • Have your name and contact details at the top.
  • Your photo: depends of a country you are applying to, in Central and Eastern Europe a photo is almost a must, in the Anglo-Saxon countries is a no-go.
  • A brief overview of yourself including key skills.
  • Education, professional memberships, training and any software or mechanical competencies.
  • Work experience. Include company name, dates of employment, job title, key responsibilities and achievements. List your jobs in  order newest to oldest.
  • Interests, hobbies,
  • Referees. Include their job title and valid contact details. It is also important to seek permission from your referees to use their name.

If there are any gaps in your working life, list them and explain if necessary. It is not unusual to have travelled around the world and spent some time overseas during your O/E experience.

Cover Letters

With the rise of internet job websites, it may seem that cover letters are less relevant then they once were. However, it is very important that you include a cover letter. In a situation where an employer is unsure of an applicant, they will often refer to the cover letter for more information. The majority of online applications will have a contact name on them, and if not, it is usually easy enough to call the company to get the contact name.

When you write the cover letter, put a brief overview of why you are applying to the position, relevant skills, what interests you and where you are at the moment. It does not need to be in depth, but it is always good if you can write a cover letter without duplicating what is in the resume.



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