The Kind of CV that Gets You the Job

2. 7. 2020

You know the situation. There is a challenge ahead of you. You are in need to find a new, better job. Your first step is to dust out your CV and to start sending it to companies without much thought. Sounds familiar?

Even though we have tons of information available, for many there is still a problem to create a great CV that would differ from the archaic CVs with an overflow of information. And trust me, HR recruiters get hundreds of them.

So what do recruiters want? And what will discourage them?

Let´s start with what NOT to do.

Oftentimes I see people write in their CVs personal traits such as responsibility, independence, team spirit, self-sufficiency, etc. But these characteristics are expected automatically. Moreover – have you ever met someone who stated in their CV that they are irresponsible or hate people?

Another mistake that discourages HR recruiters is the list of hobbies, such as yoga, running, etc. Smart HR recruiter will ask you during a job interview „And how exactly will doing yoga help you in fulfilling your job duties?“. My advice would be to keep your list of hobbies to your social networks.

What you SHOULD DO instead is to focus on the section Personal Brand.

Personal Brand

Before we dig deeper into this part, it is crucial to realize that HR recruiters are people, who will receive hundreds of CVs and they have only limited time for each one.

Personal developement

Essentially there are two extremes that you should avoid so you would not discourage recruiters right away. First is the CV with tons of color and infographics without any logic, or with a huge photo with a sexy selfie in the middle. The other extreme is a 10-page litany that describes everything about a person in detail. HR recruiters do not have time for that. They also do not care about your birth city or your current address.


Try to incorporate modern techniques of presenting yourself. Youse links to your social profiles, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or a personal blog, etc. You will seem more transparent and your future employer will be able to form a clearer picture of you, who you are and how well you fit into the company.

The section of Personal Brand should be able to tell the HR recruiter in 10 seconds whether you are the right person on the position. Try to use 5-6 indents that should contain the following information:

  • Your ambitions, what is the motor that drives you
  • Your mantra or a quote that you live by
  • What was the thing you enjoyed the most in your last position
  • What do you do best
  • What do you do differently
  • What are the three characteristics that your colleagues, friends, or family describe you

All of that information should be short, clear and striking. Do not miss the only opportunity to sell your skills.

It is important to realize that the list of your skills should not be a detailed writing about every work experience (including summer jobs). Focus more to accentuate your key successes and value at the job market.

Now, in the spirit of brevity, let´s summarize a few tips that you can use to make your CV perfect.

Useful tips

  • Customize your CV to the position that you are applying for
  • List not only the name of the university you graduated from, but also the name of your final thesis
  • Use the full name, position, and contact to a person that will give you reference, and if you can, quote 1 or 2 sentences from it.
  • Be careful about using words like leadership/lead/achievement/management etc.
  • Describe your position understandably, the reader has to comprehend what you were doing in your job
  • Do not write the whole history of your education
  • Do not forget to do grammar and spellcheck

Sources of inspiration:

  1. inLearning – CV success master class – Careercake – Aimee Bateman
  2. (autor Andrew Fennell)

Application for study

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