one hour CV Challenge - top tips to improve a CV1 Hour CV Improvement Challenge!

If your CV is not getting you anywhere and you still haven’t been called to interview, we challenge you to re-examine your CV and take our One Hour CV Improvement Challenge.

In less than an hour you could significantly improve your CV layout and content by checking it against these five simple top-tips for CV writing.

What have you got to lose?  … Potentially your dream job if you don’t.

Keep the CV Design Simple

Yes, that’s right! Your CV is a professional document and it should be written and presented to reflect your professionalism.

Always stick to black and white and never use coloured fonts, we recently reviewed a CV with red text – it was awful and so distracting for the reader. Similarly, keep your font plain and simple, something like Arial or Verdana with a 10 point font size.

As much as you might like it, your CV should never have boxes or shading, coloured text or excessive use of bold, italics, underlining or capitalisation.  Your key skills, experience and attributes should stand out, not the decorative decals adorning the page.

Check your Contact Details

All too often we review CVs that omit to include the candidates contact details! How bonkers is that? How is a recruiter supposed to get hold of you if you don’t include your name, address, email address and telephone number?

Whilst data security is important, so is being contactable.  If this is something that worries you, set up a new email account specifically for application purposes using a free provider such as Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail but remember to choose a professional sounding email address and not something daft like…

As for phone details, why not set up a VoIP phone account and set it up to re-direct to your mobile? Sipgate are one such provider and also provide software to take calls via your PC.

Your contact details should be clearly placed at the head of page one so a recruiter can easily find your details and PLEASE make sure they are up-to-date!  You would be surprised how many CVs have ancient email addresses and phone numbers on them, which are no longer in use.

Avoid Content Repetition

You might have worked within the same industry for two years or 10 years undertaking similar tasks but that doesn’t mean you can just copy and paste across all the roles. That’s just laziness and will be frowned upon.  Instead, get creative and find new ways of re-writing the text so your reader remains interested.

It is the same with words, don’t keep using the same verbs over and over again, think creatively to make your CV more engaging for the reader.

Identify your Target Market

Look at the wording in the jobs you have found and want to apply for, do those words appear in your CV?  If not, why not? Is it because you are not really as suitable candidate for the role or is it simply because you have not spent enough time on your CV and tailoring its content towards your target market?

We suggest you get a highlighter pen and highlight the key words in adverts in bright yellow and then do the same with your CV, do they match?  If not, you could be missing the mark and failing to meet criteria.

Quantify your Achievements

It is no longer sufficient to tell a prospective employer you are an ace Salesperson, it will not suffice.  They will want some indication of how good a Salesperson you really are.  Demonstrate this by telling them how many sales calls you make, what your conversion rate is and how much money you make for your existing company at the very least.

This rule applies to the majority of positions, think in terms of quantifiable information!

How does your CV Stack Up?

We urge you to dig out your CV and check theses five points…

1) Does your CV look like a well laid out, smartly presented professional document?

2) Can a recruiter easily find your details to contact you and are they current?

3) Have you checked your CV for word repetition? Use the ‘Find’ function in MS Word to highlight

4) Does your CV contain essential key words and words associated with your industry?

5) Have you reinforced your claims with numbers, facts and figures?

Do you Need More Help with your CV?

If you are not sure, then we can help you.  Not only can we transform your CV from just £31.99 but we also offer a free CV review service, simply email your current CV to and one of our Professional CV Writers will evaluate your CV for you.

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