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Remember that you have about 15 seconds to make an immense first impression on any hiring manager. Look at your core resume or CV, can it survive the quick 15 seconds scan? To make your CV stand out and land you a job interview, explore these 15 solid CV tips that land interviews.

15 CV Tips


By Catherine Adenle

Will your CV pass the 15 seconds test and drill of by-passing other applicants’ based on its structure and presentation? Frankly, your primary objective should be to catch the recruiter’s attention in the first 15 seconds, so having an excellent catchy and well structured CV is imperative.

Always think of your CV as the first stage of the interview process. I know that you wouldn’t go to an interview with the intention of not selling your skills or presenting your self in an impressive manner, so don’t hold back when selling yourself on paper.

The requirements of CV formats change over time just like any industry. The reason for this is to keep up with the changing requirements of businesses. Regardless of the job you are looking for, here are 15 solid CV tips for creating an effective recession proof  CV:

Tip 1 – Keep it dead simple

The first of the solid CV tips is to keep the format of your CV simple. Ensure that it is neat, clean and clear. Use one font only, don’t go to town by using jazzy effects – no colour, use headings to make it easy to read, use bullet points and lists.

Tip 2No Gimmicks

As much as we like to make our CV stand out, hiring managers tend to dislike gimmicks when reading CVs. No pictures even if you think  you are gorgeous. You ‘model’ look is not what the potential employer is looking for. Unless a prospective employer implicitly asks for a picture, do not include it.

Tip 3No Age or religion

You don’t have to include your age; an employer can easily work out your age range by looking at when you were educated and left school, college and university. You don’t have to add your religion as well.

Tip 4Working Overseas

If you are applying for a position overseas, remember to state whether you have the right visas to work in that particular country and indicate that you are free to travel.

Tip 5Keywords or Power words

Include keywords or power words that are congruent with your industry or the job description. Research the keywords for your industry, most large companies’ have scanning software to review CVs to quickly pinpoint the most ideal candidates before a hiring manager even looks.

Tip 6Formatting content

Your CV should be on A4 white papers, if you are posting your CV rather than emailing it, try to use good quality paper. Use a plain font like Arial, Trebuchet MS, or Times Roman. If you are e-mailing your CV, use Microsoft Word as everyone can open Word.

Tip 7 – Your skills

Provide a list of relevant skills and ensure that your achievements demonstrate the skills. Showcase the skills by demonstrating them through your achievements.

See Show, Don’t Tell: How To Demonstrate Your Skills In A Resume

Tip 8 – Achievements

Under each job, list responsibilities and tasks undertaken and achievements that highlights your capabilities

Tip 9 – Education or relevant trainings

Include relevant education with training attended, year, qualification or any professional bodies that you belong to.

Tip 10 – Referees

Referees should be included or at the very least a statement for “Referees willingly provided upon request”, be sure to touch base with your referees to ensure that they may be contacted.

Tip 11– Length

Maximum 2 pages  unless you are applying to be an architect or a medical doctor…In most cases, you do not typically want 3 unless, there is something so spectacular about your work history, even then a succinct explanation should suffice. If it has to be longer, be sure to compartmentalize the areas so the person reading knows where to look for what info.

Tip 12– Personalisation

Be sure to stand out because of the quality of your CV. Be the candidate who truly wants that position and not just another regular person looking for another job. Use effective words from their job ads, target and gear yourself into the kind of person they are seeking. Bring out your achiever personality and really make the resume showcase what you can deliver.

Tip 13– Spell check

All I will say is spell check, spell check and spell check! Let your colleague, friend or mentor read through for you. 

Tip 14– Tailor it!

If you want your CV to target a specific job then you will need to tailor it accordingly. One cap should not fit all. Have a core CV in place but always tweak it to factor in the skills and the relevant experience required for the specific job that you are applying for.

See Top 10 Curriculum Vitae (CV) Writing Tips

Tip 15– Timing

If applications and CVs are due in on a Wednesday, don’t wait until Tuesday or Wednesday morning to get your CV written. Be prepared ahead of time. Have a current up to date CV ready to go at all times, get an experienced person to take a second look for you before sending it out and ensure that you are an early candidate.

Now that you have read this post on the 15 solid CV tips that land interviews, have you got other tips to add? Please feel free to share more important CV and resume tips with us.


Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

Latest posts by Catherine Adenle (see all)

One thought on “15 Solid CV Tips That Land Interviews

  1. let me see if ive got this right
    1. dont show you know anything about powerpoint or word
    2.have no individuality
    3.deny yourself
    4.state the obvious
    5.dumb down the obvious
    10.line up your ducks in a row
    11.If you are older, hide it
    12. brag
    13. dont be dumb
    14. brag efficiently
    15. do what everyone else does

    mmmmmm…. i cannot decide if this is a commentary on modern life, or just how totally false the market is for job seekers… either way its very sad

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