Be Recruitment

What makes a good CV? Insights from recruitment experts.

Photo or no photo? What to leave out or include? Most professional formatting for a CV?

Find answers to all these questions and more below – straight from the experts at Be. Recruitment.

Read on to find out more!

Leading Statement (a.k.a. Summary Statement)

Be. Recruitment cofounder Zena Clark stresses the importance of including a summary statement – but it’s something many people struggle with.

“A common issue we see is that there’s actually nothing tangible in the leading statement.

“Often there’s a lot of waffle about generic things like being a team player and being keen to learn new skills. What employers want to see instead is a summary highlighting the specific skills and experience you have that makes you a standout for this role.

“The best summary statements are clearly written for that specific role – they’re not just a copy/paste job.”

Recruitment Team Manager Theo Venables agrees: “A good leading statement captures who you are, what you can do and what you’re passionate about”.

Work History

As the main part of your CV, Theo says your work history should be a clear timeline of your career – ideally with the month and year you started and finished in each role (not just the year).

“You want to keep your CV as succinct as possible,” says Michelle Willmot, Recruitment Resourcer at Be. “It’s not a novel!”

“The best CVs give clear examples of the relevant work you did and a (short!) list of your achievements in those roles,” she continues.

Instead of going into detail for every position you’ve ever held, just focus on the ones that are actually relevant to this specific application.

Relevant roles are the ones that gave you the skills and experience needed for the new job (as described in the job description).

But don’t skimp on the good bits!

A common mistake Theo sees in CVs is candidates only including single words or very short sentences outlining their responsibilities in previous roles, or forgetting to include their qualifications and/or registrations.

These details are the most important parts of your CV, and are the ‘juicy stuff’ an employer will be looking for in applications – so don’t neglect them if you want to do yourself justice.

Formatting

It might seem counterintuitive, but the experts at Be. all agree that less is more when it comes to formatting.

“Overly complex formatting just doesn’t look good when converted between PDF or Word documents,” explains Zena. This often happens when your CV is uploaded to online portals and is downloaded in a different format by hiring managers.

You want the focus to be on the information you’re providing, not the way it looks.

“Using common templates isn’t great either,” says Theo. “Simple and consistent formatting is best – don’t change the font or spacing throughout the document.”

Spelling and Grammar

Michelle says that spelling and/or grammar mistakes are a big turn-off for whoever reads your application. It’s such an easy fix thanks to tools like spell check or Grammarly – so there’s really no reason to compromise your application with such simple mistakes.

Picture

Including a photo of yourself really isn’t necessary, but if you want to, it needs to be a professional headshot. Including an unprofessional photo is a straight-up no-no, the team agrees. Simple as that!

 

Do you have other questions on how to write your best CV? Leave them in the comments below!

Be. Recruitment is a specialist recruitment partner for the health and social care sector. If you’re looking to take the next step in your social care career, get in touch for a confidential chat today – we’d love to hear from you!

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