Building your CV

Contact details

  • Having your contact details readily available is critical. Please ensure all your contact details are correct and it’s an email/phone number that you use regularly. Please also ensure that your voice message is set up and it is professional, a big frustration for recruiters is when candidates are not contactable.
  • For email addresses, please keep this professional versus anything that can be viewed as suspicious or inappropriate. You can also share a link to your LinkedIn profile, especially if you are quite active on that platform. Please also ensure your Instagram profile and other social platforms are not public or if they are, please check the content is not questionable or inappropriate.

Key points to remember:

  • Full name (no nicknames)
  • Mobile phone number (be contactable)
  • Email (ensure its professional)
  • LinkedIn profile or online portfolio (if relevant for your craft)

Opening statement/summary

  • An opening statement/summary is an impactful statement that highlights your strengths and the value you can add to the role. Refer to you career aspirations, motivations and experience.
  • Your opening statement/summary is prime real estate on your CV and likely the first thing the recruiter will read. Your personal summary should paint a picture of who you are, why you’re ideal for the role you’re applying for and what your career aspirations are. Think of it as your elevator pitch. Keep your opening statement at two to four sentences.
  • It’s best to tailor your personal summary to the prospective role. In many ways this catchy sentence or two entices and intrigues the recruiter to want to learn more and continue reading. Don't write a novel – keep it concise and punchy. If you are applying for several roles, this is where you can truly change things up and tailor it accordingly.

Work experience

  • Your work experience is the most important part of your CV and it’s more than just a list of jobs you’ve held. Also known as your professional experience, it must show off what you’ve achieved and overseen throughout your working life. It’s also the part of your CV that hiring managers and recruiters will look at most closely, so it’s crucial to get the content right.
  • List your positions in reverse chronological order, so your most recent role first. Recruiters also like to see the dates clearly so please ensure you list both month and year along with company name and position held. Don’t combine multiple roles at one company into one entry – highlight your different job titles. This shows you were valued, promoted and able to transition between roles.
  • Be mindful of CV length. Do not go into too much detail. Focus on responsibilities and achievements for each role ideally listed in bullet point format and not long sentences. If you are a graduate or new to the workforce, then it’s fine to include your part-time work at school or university however, if you have been in the workforce for 10+ years then that earlier experience is arguably no longer relevant. There is no need to list every role you’ve ever had. Your own judgment can come into play here.
  • Be mindful of using positive action verbs throughout your CV. It is best to use action verbs such as “created,” “analysed,” “implemented,” vs “I created or Jane created”, “I analysed or Jane analysed”. This is to ensure the need for a tense has been removed and focuses on the action instead. This also allows for a punchier delivery.
  • When listing your achievements, include hard numbers and analytics where possible. For example, don’t just say "increased sales YOY". You ideally want to be more specific in your achievements for example, "sales were increased by 20% YOY" reads much better.

Key points:

  • Reverse chronological order (most recent first)
  • Dates (month and year), name of company and position
  • Recruiters will assume it was a full-time permanent role, if not, note in brackets after the position i.e. (contract) (casual) (volunteer)
  • Be mindful of CV length. no need to list every action or task
  • List responsibilities and achievements, this is your chance to sell yourself
  • Use positive action verbs – i.e. “implemented” and “analysed”
  • With achievements, include hard numbers if you can

Education and references

  • Your number of years in the workforce will determine how far back you should go with education. For example, someone in middle management will list their university degree whereas a recent graduate may include their university degree and their college years. There is no need to list papers that you completed and your grades.
  • Including your interests and hobbies on your CV is a personal preference. However, tailoring your CV to include these can highlight your potential fit with the brand and a bit about your personality and passions.
  • It’s also a personal preference to include referee contact details. We find most candidates tend to write 'available upon request'. Recruiters should always seek your permission before speaking to referees however, by listing them you do run the risk of recruiters making premature contact. However, if you are actively applying for roles now is the time to reach out to your referees and check they are happy to be contacted should you get to the final stages.