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How to strengthen your CV

10th May 2013

Over the last few weeks I have looked over a ton of CV’s and it is surprising how many mistakes are made that could easily be corrected; so here are a few points to help strengthen your CV:

1) The right order!!

Getting your CV in order not only makes your life easier when you come to update it, but it also makes it easier for an employer to navigate your CV. You should be following a structure of:

  • Personal Statement
  • Career History
  • Education
  • Additional Information (e.g. other qualifications, interests)

As an experienced professional the main thing an employer wants to see is your career history and this is also your biggest selling point. Make sure it is in chronological order starting with the most recent then follow this with your Education and Additional Information.

2) Achievements

Your CV is the 1st chance you have to sell yourself to an employer so it essential to get your achievements on there! It is all too easy to fall into the trap of describing your role without actually mentioning what you accomplished. Your CV needs to include at least 3 substantial achievements for each of your most recent roles, the more the better!! Examples include, sales vs. targets figures, national rankings or awards won.

3) Keep it Relevant

If you are applying for a role as a Hospital Sales Specialist with 10 years experience in the field one thing you do not need to include is your part time job at Tesco you had during school. Not only is this not relevant to the role your applying for but by including everything you run the risk of creating a 5 page CV!! The same applies when describing your past positions, an employer will assume that checking your emails and submitting expenses are basic tasks completed in the majority of roles so do not need to be included.

4) Professionalism

The main purpose of a CV is to sell yourself for a job role therefore it needs to be kept professional. Including details such as where you want on holiday last year, the ages of your children or that you live with your parents starts to make you CV lean towards your personal history rather than your career history.

5) Appearance

When meeting an employer making a great 1st impression is extremely important, the same applies for your CV. You may have a list of achievements as long as your arm but if an employer cannot make head nor tail of your CV because it is poorly formatted there is an increased chance of it being over looked. A few tips for making a good looking CV are:

  • Make it an easy font to read, ideally Arial or Calibri.
  • Use bold or underlined for headings and bullet points to highlight achievements. This breaks down your CV and makes it easier to pick out key pieces of information.
  • Make sure your CV is split into clear sections i.e. Career History, Education.
  • Put it in chronological order. Employers want to see how you have progressed throughout your career; by putting your career history and Education in order starting with the most recent allows them to easily identify key stages.
  • Spell check and proof read! Having a CV that is riddled with spelling mistakes and typos just gives off the impression that you are prone to making mistakes. 


Laura is our Recruitment Consultant for Pharmaceutical Sales for Pharmaceutical Industry Jobs, Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs, Pharmaceutical Hospital Sales Jobs, Pharmaceutical NHS Liaison and Market Access Jobs and Pharmaceutical Nurse Advisors. Whether you’re looking to explore your career options or expand your team contact Laura now to discuss your recruitment aspirations. 

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