Update Your CV


Update Your CV

Update Your CV

Average time spent by the recruiter before deciding yes, no or maybe?

…Less than 10 seconds


What will a recruiter do with my CV?

Before you think about writing your CV, it’s good to consider things from the recruiter’s perspective. What can the recruiter read in 10 seconds? Certainly not a full CV. More often than not, the recruiter is scanning and focusing on key points only. Within the first two-thirds of page 1, you need to convince the recruiter to shortlist you for interview. This is why a summary known as a Personal Profile under contact details at the top of your CV is so effective.


How do I convince the recruiter to give me an interview?

Be aware of the key points that graduate recruiters focus on when deciding yes, no or maybe.The most recent UL Graduate Market Survey national survey of graduate employers identified the following criteria as being important to employers when recruiting graduates:

  • Graduates with honours degrees or postgraduate degrees are the most sought after.
  • Strong academic results are highly valued.
  • Relevant work experience is favoured by employers when short-listing for interview.
  • Employability skills are also very important in the short-listing process.
  • The employer is looking for a well-rounded individual with a positive, can-do attitude, teamwork and communication skills and good customer and business awareness.
  • Recruiters will also be drawn to stand-out achievements, e.g. first class honours, scholarship, captain of a sports team. Write your CV with the aim of ticking as many of boxes as possible. Remember always tailor your CV to the job description in front of you.


Here are our top ten tips to consider when writing your CV

  1. Length - Your CV should be a two-page document: this is the market norm.
  2. Font - Stick to one simple sans serif font (e.g. Arial, Calibri) in point size 10–12.Simple fonts make your CV look clean, neat and readable.
  3. Paragraphs/bullet points - There are no strict rules here but it is good to break a CV into smaller sections.If a CV has too many paragraphs of text, it can be hard to read. Good CVs use a combination of paragraphs and bullet points. Experiment and go with what looks clearest on the page.
  4. Bold - Bold is used to make things stand out. But if you put too many words in bold, then none of them actually stand out. The sample CV shows you where bold can be used for real effect.
  5. Design - Don’t use boxes, shading, pictures or icons. Keep it simple: the recruiter will thank you.
  6. Save the job advertisement - Keep a copy of the job advertisement. If it appears on a website, save a copy of it onto your computer before the notice is taken down.
  7. File - You will have different drafts of your CV for different jobs. Create a simple filing system on your computer so that you can find your files with ease. Save your final draft as a PDF (it looks better than a Word doc). And use your own name as the file name (e.g. Joe Bloggs_CV). This makes it easier for the recruiter to file and find your CV.
  8. Disclosure - You don’t need to overshare information: don’t include your date of birth or any photos of yourself. When it comes to disclosure of a disability, you can contact the Careers Service for advice before you send your CV.
  9. Reread the job advertisement - On the final draft of your CV, do some ‘zoom-out’ checks. Reread the job advertisement side-by-side with your CV.Check that you’ve covered all of the key job requirements on page 1 of your CV.
  10. Fresh eyes - Call on two different people that you can rely on. Ask them to proofread your CV and mark any mistakes in grammar, spelling, spacing, etc. Ask them to be critical. It will be upsetting if they spot loads of errors. But it’s much better if errors come to light now, while you still have time to fix them. You want the recruiter to see a smart, flawless CV. It doesn’t matter if it takes you ten drafts to get there!