CV Writing part 2…

You’ve wowed the employer with your attention grabbing personal statement, now it’s time to blow them away with your array of skills and experiences.

The structure and layout of these two items may seem simple, but there's actually a few options open to you. The one you choose will largely depend upon the number of relevant skills and experiences you have to offer.

Don’t panic if you’ve just read that last line and thought, well that’s easy, I’ve got nothing. My answer would simply be – rubbish! Everyone has something, we sometimes need to dig a bit deeper to find it, but it’s always there. Watch this space for a future blog post about this...

So what are your options?

1 – Prominent skills section with a minimalist experience section

If you have a range of work experiences, but none or few of them relate directly to the role you’re now applying for, this option could be for you. Rather than highlighting what you don’t have, it highlights what you do have. And what you do have is skills. I’d recommend reading through the job description and highlighting all the skills they want that you have and add these to your CV. Now read a general job profile about the role and add in any of the skills mentioned, that you have. Finally, add any other skills you have that haven’t already been mentioned. Remember though, keep these relevant to the role as much as possible. I can guarantee that you’ll now have an impressive list of skills. Once you’ve finished your CV, don’t forget to add all of these skills to your LinkedIn profile.

Example 1.

2 – Prominent experience section with minimalist skills section

If you have a range of relevant work experience, you obviously want to showcase this, making sure you mention all the skills you demonstrated that the employer’s asking for. Then once you’ve done this, if there are other skills you’ve gained elsewhere, that are still relevant, pop these in a separate skills section.

Example 2.

3 – No skills section, just highlight them within your experience.

Finally, if you have a few good work experiences to showcase, that take into account all of the relevant skills you have, then detail everything in your descriptions. In this way, there’s no need for a separate skills section.

Example 3.

Key points to remember:

  1. Employers love concise bullet points, not long flowing prose

  2. 2-5 bullet points is more than enough

  3. Check what the employer wants, and if you’ve got it include it

  4. Use power rather than passive verbs

  5. Don’t waffle

  6. Don’t repeat things

  7. Keep it relevant

In part 3 of this series of CV blog posts, we’ll look at what else you should have on your CV as well as what to leave out.

If you have a CV already written that you want me to check, please go to my shop on and select CV Check. If you would like me to write your new CV for you, please select the appropriate CV Writing option in my shop.

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