Your CV is what is going to get the attention of the recruiters and hiring managers out there and may be the key to getting an interview. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to craft a good CV. But ‘good’ might mean something different to different people. Indeed, I believe that recruitment is a subjective process. It is a human-to-human interaction, even if the recruitment industry tries to automate the selection process with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and other tools. Here are some tips to help you make your CV ATS-friendly:

I’m a strong believer in being authentic and showing your real self on your CV. It will help you avoid the organisations and people that you don’t want to work with, and it’ll help you showcase yourself and your experience confidently.

Here are the different things you can do to write an authentic CV.

First, you can write a personal statement that will grab the recruiters’ attention. To make it authentic, weave in your values, your personality traits and your strengths (see resources below to find out what they are), as well as state your career mission (i.e. the impact you want to have) and the type of organisations you want to work for (e.g. innovators in the healthcare industry, or well-established retailers, etc.).

Then, bring your key skills to the top. Make them specific and relevant to the jobs you apply to (e.g. customer service in luxury retail) and use the same descriptors that you find on job ads.

When you list your professional experiences, starting with the most recent ones, include volunteering roles, internships and placements if they’re relevant to the jobs you’re applying to. Describe each role with your achievements, rather than your skills, and add context by describing the scope and results of your actions.

Keep the ‘education and qualifications’ section simple. Whilst it’s not the most important section, make sure you list all the degrees, diplomas, courses and qualifications that are relevant to your job.

Finally, don’t skip the ‘personal interests’ section as it can help you create a personal connection with the recruiter. You can list your hobbies, sports, reading interests, what you’re learning about, how you like to spend your spare time.

When you’ve finished writing your CV, ask someone to review it: a colleague, mentor, recruiter, stranger on LinkedIn. Offer them a coffee and ask them what’s the market is like in your industry and profession and see if they can give you advice on your CV and job search.


Identify your values:

Take a personality test:

Assess your strengths:

About Catherine

Catherine is a qualified career coach and L&D consultant at People at Heart Coaching ( Her mission is to help people grow and create the career and life that will make them happy and fulfilled. She offers one-to-one coaching sessions to a range of clients, from early careers to retirement and in a variety of roles and industries. She also designs and delivers personal growth and professional development workshops. She has a 10-year experience in corporate Human Resources and Talent Management.

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