How to make your CV stand out to recruiters



We’ve all sent CV’s off to recruiters in the hope they’ll pick us out and put us forward for the position, only for that call never to come. But why? When recruiters receive hundreds of applications for a single job it makes it even harder to separate yourself from the crowd. Here are some of our top tips to help your CV stand out to recruiters and get you one step closer to securing that dream job.



Simplify Design and Layout

Recent research suggests that the average time a recruiter/hiring manager takes to look at a CV is around 9 seconds. This makes it vitally important that yours can be read through easily in a quick and straightforward manner. Make sure that you space sections out - if sections look cramped on the page when you look at them it will also mean that they’re harder to read. Use bullet points to make clear and succinct points. They’re especially handy when evidencing any skills and experience you’ve gained from your previous positions. Finally, look to choose a simple and clear font such as Arial or Calibri and write in size 10 or size 12.

Keep it Relevant

Think about the relevance of the role that you’re applying to in relation to your previous work experience. It is almost certain that in order to be considered for the role you will need previous similar experience and possibly related qualifications. Make your submissions count and only apply for roles through recruiters where you know you have the right mix of skills and experience. It is important to ensure that all the information within your CV is relevant to the role you’re applying to and not generalised.

Use Keywords

Once recruiters have your CV stored in their database they will be able to consider it for any future positions. Recruiters will often use something called a Boolean search to scan through all the CV’s in their database using certain keyword parameters. By including role specific keywords you increase your chances of being found. Think carefully about the terms that you (and employers) would use to describe roles you’ve worked in and include them in your CV.

Think about Order

You’ve got loads of great experience for the role you’re applying for and now it’s just a case of putting it all into your CV! To provide clarity on your previous experience and to make your CV easily readable you should always list your experience in reverse chronological order i.e. putting your most recent experiences first. Not only does this make it easier for someone to run through your CV but it also makes it straightforward for a recruiter to understand your career journey.

Regularly Update your CV

A CV with lots of gaps or one that hasn’t been updated in a while will not be seen as favourably with recruiters or employers. If you want to try and make yours stand out make sure you regularly update it. You will likely be adding skills and experience that will help you in your search for jobs. When you’ve finished updating your CV make sure you send it across to your recruiter so they can update it in their database. If your recruiter has your up-to-date CV they’re more likely to contact you when relevant job opportunities arise!

Make your Personal Statement Count

When a recruiter or an employer opens your CV the first thing that they will see is your personal statement, so make it count! Succinctly summarise who you are, your key skills and experience and your overall career goals. Try and make yourself stand out by emphasizing and evidencing why you’d be the perfect fit for the role. The best way to do this is to carefully read through the job description and adapt your personal statement accordingly. In terms of length, aim for no more than 150 words.


Make sure you always include 2 or 3 references. Recruiters will often make use of these before making their decision on whether to put your CV forward.

Check your Grammar

This one almost sounds too obvious to include but it is very easily forgotten. Take the time to read through your CV when you’ve finished writing it and carefully check for any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. After all the hard work you’ve put into it you don’t want to let any silly errors be your downfall!


Are you looking for your next job? Samuel Knight International specialise in providing recruitment and manpower solutions across the Energy and Rail sectors. You can quickly submit your CV to us using the button below or you can call us on +44 (0) 191 481 3620 and speak to one of our experts.



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