Writing a successful CV: 5 key factors

Writing a successful CV: 5 key factors

The CV is crucially important in the application process and is one of the key factors whether further process steps such as interviews are initiated. As a recruitment agency, we review several CVs each day and therefore know the five key factors that make up a meaningful CV. 1)     Structure: Briefly and succinctly list experiences / […]

The CV is crucially important in the application process and is one of the key factors whether further process steps such as interviews are initiated. As a recruitment agency, we review several CVs each day and therefore know the five key factors that make up a meaningful CV.

1)     Structure:

  • Briefly and succinctly list experiences / qualifications in the form of bullet points
  • Separate the essential from the insignificant and avoid long texts
  • Assessment of key qualifications on a rating scale (e.g., 1-5)
  • Antichronological structure with the latest experience at the top
  • Highlight your successes: e.g. Sales increase of 50% within 12 months
  • For Freelancers: specify the exact availability, possible locations and hourly rate

 2)     Accuracy and completeness of job information:

  • Full job title, company details and detailed task descriptions
  • Project list as attachment for freelancers (Hint: customer names can also be anonymized, in case of a confidentiality obligation, e.g. Consultant Quality Control at a pharmaceutical company in Germany)
  • Exact specification of the duration of a job / project (starting date, end date)
  • Attach references for relevant jobs / projects

3)     Use Keywords and refer to the job description

  • Use the substantial key keywords from the job description to list relevant experiences
  • Avoid excessive use of keywords and try to use synonyms
  • Consider required soft skills (e.g., “hands-on mentality” or leadership experience)

4)     Layout and visual appearance:

  • Clear design (consistent font and size, simple background)
  • Current and business-related photo
  • Keep your CV as short as possible (“kiss” – keep it short & simple)

5)     Spelling mistakes and truth of information:

  • Emphasise the quality of the CV: avoid spelling mistakes etc.
  • Avoid “fake” job titles, tasks or project durations

CV template is available to download for free on our homepage.

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