FOCUS: How your CV should look in 2017

When hunting for a new job, the CV is essential for securing a foot in the door and getting that all-important interview. It is the first impression an employer will get of you and if the CV is poor, it may be the last. Antony Elkington, Managing Director of Trusted Recruiter, gives his six key tips for creating a CV that will be added to the interview pile rather than tossed into the bin.

1. Consider the format

The format of your CV is crucial. You ideally want a smooth, clean look that has just enough panache to stand out. Including a little natural colour helps to make your CV stand out, however, do not overdo it. Using too much colour can have the opposite effect, making the document look messy and cluttered. Also, think about the type of font you choose; Times New Roman is too boring!

2. Grab attention at the top

When we as recruiters and hiring managers to view your CV, the top part is the deciding factor as to whether we read on. Make sure yours is an attention grabber; highlight samples of your work, LinkedIn or key success. Always include a strong, catchy summary which makes you stand out from competition and highlights your unique selling point. Always add your phone and email address.

Also, consider the email address you are using try to use Gmail or Hotmail with your name rather than any silly nicknames or slangs. Set one up if you don't already have one.

3. Make sure key skills stand out

Near to top section, add your strongest skills. For example, ‘Sales Coaching’ will show the prospective employer what you can offer them as opposed to what they are offering you.

Many job boards use keyword searches. Make sure you include any relevant wording relating to the position you are looking for. Re-word and amend your CV to match the required skill set when applying for specific jobs, as again, this will be mean you are more likely to be seen as a suitable match for the job.

You may want to remove words such as ‘hard-working’, ‘punctual’ and ‘great attitude’ as employers generally overlook these as soft skills.

4. Highlight key successes and performance

This can be crucial depending on the role you are applying for. Make sure you include a list of key successes such as awards, achievements and what you brought to your previous employer. If you are applying for a sales position, try to include revenue figures and stats where possible and include how you compared to colleagues in recent years, quarters or months. Perhaps look at previous performance reviews to get ideas.

5. Include key work metrics

Make full use of the work experience section. Keep it concise, adding a few lines to explain each role to employers. Also, try to avoid including any former company slang as not all new employers will know what you mean.

Include why you were promoted, why you left your most recent employer, where do you aim to go next and what you learned about the role.

6. Control Your Timeline

Your CV is a selection of your most relevant work history.

Remove experience that dates back further than 10 years unless it’s essential to your narrative. This can take up unnecessary space and create questions which needn’t be considered. It can also give an ageist hiring manager an excuse to remove you from the shortlist because you're too young or too old.

Trusted Recruiter is a specialist recruiter within Assistive Technology and Healthcare. Please get in touch with one of our consultants to discuss your vacancy on 03330144014 or email

The agency has industry candidates with experience in Lifting and Handling, Seating and Positioning, Bathing and Toileting, Pressure Care, Medical Devices, Digital Technology and many other disability/assistive aids and services.