Creating a Great CV

Creating a Great CV

Off By Ed Hanna

A CV is essentially a marketing tool that details your skills and expertise, to a particular job vacancy.


There is no such thing as a standard CV – and any jobseeker should make sure that they change or tweak their CV specifically to any job vacancy they apply for. Having said that, it should include certain elements: name, contact details, personal statement, work experience, qualifications and achievements.

Personal Statement

This is a brief summary and an opening shot at standing out from the crowd. In an ideal world a recruiter would read this short paragraph about who you are, what you’ve got to offer and how you fit the role, and bin the other CVs.


Firstly, remember that your CV is likely to be one of many in the recruiter’s in-tray. Keep it short and succinct and aim to limit the CV to two sides of A4. Secondly, focus on the job in hand, literally. Aim to link how your experience, qualifications and skills make you the ideal candidate. This is where you get to briefly explain how your Military skills fit into a civvy organisation.


The fact is that a recruiter may need you to explain how your achievements during your Military career will help you to succeed in their organisation. With this in mind, discuss them in words that will mean something to them: organisation, teamwork, initiative and management, etc.


Before your CV is read properly by a recruiter it’ll need to get through the initial haul. Keywords are important. For instance, the recruiter may be using an online CV library that you’ve uploaded a CV to, or perhaps they’re using an agency to find relevant CVs for them. Keywords, again, taken from the job description will help your CV to get picked up. Put yourself in the recruiters’ place and think about the words or phrases that will match you to the vacancy. (Caution: don’t turn your CV into a list of keywords – it’s a cheap trick – and you’ll get binned.)


Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here, along with dates, the type of qualification and/or the grade you achieved. Emphasise any particular qualifications that match you to the job.

Work Experience

Include job title, the name of the organisation, dates and your key responsibilities, in reverse order with your most current experience at the top. Remember to keep it focused.

Avoid Unnecessary Jargon

Again try to focus skills and experience on the job description.


There is plenty more advice online about CV writing and even templates to fill in but the fundamentals still apply.