Your CV could be the difference between you landing your dream job, or adding another line to the ‘number of days without showering’ tally you’ve been keeping since the start of your job hunt. In other words, it’s important to get it right. We understand that it’s hard to get your amazing personality, professional know-how and knack for hilarious yet appropriate office banter across on a bit of A4 paper though. So we decided to ask the people at O2 what makes a CV stand out to them.

We hosted an O2 Careers Masterclass to discuss all things curriculum vitae and career development with the experts. O2’s Head of Learning and Development, Paul Morgan (below left), and Eleanor Kendrick-Thomas (below centre), a Senior Resourcing Advisor from O2, came along for an entire day of insight about what employers are actually looking for when they read job applications. These two have seen their fair share of CVs, so we asked them for their top CV tips. Take a look below to find out how to make your CV stand out…


1. Shout about your achievements

Your CV isn’t the place to be modest. Kick off your CV by listing your biggest and most impressive accomplishments. “Shout about yourself on your CV,” advises Ellie. “You need to tell me your biggest achievements”.

But what if you don’t have loads of work experience under your belt, or a fancy job title to wow employers with? “Don’t think ‘what have I achieved in work?’” says Paul. “What have you achieved in life?” You can use achievements like running a marathon, or raising money for charity to demonstrate that you’re driven, motivated and a hard-worker.

2. Think about the way your CV is structured

“Where you went to school should go at the bottom of your CV” suggests Paul. “It doesn’t say anything about you”.

So what do the people looking at your CV want to read about first? “You! Your aptitude, your attitude, and whether you’re passionate” says Paul. “Show your passion, your enthusiasm, your willingness to learn and be different”.

3. Make employers want to meet you

What else does your CV need? “Intrigue!” says Paul. “People have got to have a reason to invite you to an interview”. Write about the most impressive things you’ve done, that employers will be excited to ask you questions about at a job interview.

4. Adapt your CV for every job

What’s the most common mistake that the O2 team see? “A lot of people don’t match their CV to the job they’re applying for,” says Paul.

“I look at CVs every day,” adds Ellie. She says she can tell when someone has sent the same CV to a bunch of companies. “Cater your personality to the culture of the business you’re applying to by doing research,” she suggests.

5. Match it to your LinkedIn profile

“It’s common practice to look up people that you’re going to meet on LinkedIn” says Paul, so it’s important that your LinkedIn profile and your CV match.

Ellie thinks LinkedIn is incredibly important too. “If you don’t have LinkedIn, get it” she told our masterclass attendees. “I spend most of my day on LinkedIn looking for people like you for our business”.

Check out the video below for more insight from our masterclass with O2…


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