Writing a great CV: Six key recommendations


As a recruitment consultancy, we sift hundreds of CVs daily from entirely different industries: Marketing & Digital, IT & Cybersecurity, Office Support, Finance & Accountancy, Motoring & Automotive, Hospitality & Catering, Property Management, to name just a few.

Therefore, we decided to give you a few recommendations for writing a resume, that can apply to any industry or career level.

1. Professional Profile. We understand it can be challenging to summarise in a small paragraph all your education and professional experience.

Therefore, we advise you to take your time and make this section relevant to the job you are applying to. Highlight the skills and experience that you have and match them with what the company is specifically looking for, which leads us to the next recommendation: keywords.

2. Keywords. Most in-house HR departments and employment agencies use specialised recruitment software. When you upload a CV, it will most likely be "scanned" by the software and reveal itself when the recruiter creates a search with specific keywords that match your CV.

What is a keyword? A word that describes the content of your CV; for example, I am looking for a Digital Marketing Executive, and the company I am recruiting for requires specific skills from the candidate: SEO, SEM and Emailing Campaigns. The recruiter will first add in the search those skills (keywords), and the resumes that show up will be the ones selected for further consideration by the consultant.

3. Format. The simpler, the better. Surprisingly for many candidates, sending your CV in a Word format, without any tables or frames is a great option.

And what about the creative industries? Easy! Attach your portfolio in a PDF or link. It will look neater and organised, plus the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will be able to scan your Microsoft Word CV, and you'll appear in most searches.

Another option can be to upload your 'fancy' curriculum and give the alternative to the company or recruiter to contact you if they need the Word format; this can be a great pretext to get a call from the recruiter and have a chat about the position.

4. Dates of employment. Always write the correct dates of employment and education on your CV. If for any reason you have a work gap, don't worry, explain further in a cover letter or email. These dates need to be accurate to match your profile on LinkedIn.

5. Video interview. Now more than ever, companies are embracing video interviews. As part of EllisKnight International's digital transformation, we've been using it for almost a year and a half as a vital and mandatory part of our recruitment process.

The benefits? Saving transportation money, reducing the time to hire and is more likely to be chosen by the employer as we are showcasing not just your skills, also your personality. Read here Video interview preparation: top tips.

6. Be perseverant. We all have been in the stressful situation of applying for a new job, could be as a graduate, looking for your next career move or a redundancy, etc. Do not get demotivated; invest at least an hour of your day getting organised and updating your CV. Need help with this process? Consult our "How to get a job quickly" blog article.


Good to know... 

Information regarding your references, photo, marital status, hobbies or date of birth is totally optional on CV (references are usually necessary only once a job has been offered); you are in your right to not include those personal details.


Practical advice when applying on Jobs on Facebook.

Facebook has recently launched its very own job board. We've been using it for a while and made an interesting finding: most candidates apply without uploading a CV or filling up the Facebook built-in application form.

Always take time to fill up the application form or upload your CV with a brief paragraph of why you should be considered for the job. Additionally, we always attach a link, in the job description, to our website where you can register and apply for as many vacancies as you wish.


Helpful resources
  • Do you require help with the whole document? Please download our pre-made CV in Word format. Just fill it up and start applying!

Download CV template 


  • Don't miss out this phenomenal free online course "Writing a Resume" by Linkedin Learning. The course targets US candidates; yet, has valuable information and tips that can be applied anywhere in the world. It also contains a "European Resume Design" section that can be of your interest.