Writing a CV that will get you a phone call

Applying for jobs is about moving through stages. 

A decent cover letter ensures that your CV is read. A decent CV will get you a phone call and the phone call stage is where you secure the interview. By the time you get to the interview, all of this should set you up for a straight run to landing the job..

Here are some tips on helping ensure your CV gets you the phone call.

1. Make your CV as relevant to the employer and the role as possible.

Any relevant qualifications and experience need to be most visible. Even if they're years old, if they’re all you’ve got, list them at the top (with dates).

And make your CV reflect the job you’re applying for.

All the experience in the world means nothing if it’s not presented in a manner that reflects the requirements of the role. Demonstrate how your previous experience reflects the needs of the role that you are applying for.

2. Don’t bore the employer with waffle

Stick to results and accomplishments as they relate to the required key responsibilities. 

Too many CV’s detail the duties of previous roles, but not the results. Being specific about the result of your efforts helps employers better understand your impact in that role.

3. If you have relevant experience in another industry, make it obvious.

Don’t expect employers to draw the connection between what you’ve done in another industry and how it’s going to be of benefit to them. For example, if you think your sales experience in another industry stacks up, make that clear. Outline how you would increase sales/connect with new members/help reduce attrition. 

4. How long should a CV be? 

Two pages. Max.

Again, the purpose of the CV is to get the employer to call, not to give them a life history. If you’re at two pages, try to make it one.

5. Keep it simple.

A CV needs to be very readable. So forget your fancy fonts and layouts and go for simple. Use spell check and, most importantly, get someone to proofread.

6. The file name of your CV demonstrates professionalism.

Save your CV as your name – Both first and last. Avoid calling it ‘My resume’ (or anything along those lines). And be sure it's in PDF format (required for applications via HealthyPeople).

With some very simple updates to your CV, it's possible to stand out from the crowd and make a great first impression with employers.

I wish you every success.


Dennis Hosking | Managing Director, HealthyPeople