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How to write a good CV

The jobs market is more competitive than ever now post COVID, and it’s therefore crucial that you stand out from the crowd with a well-written, informative and succinct CV. Writing a good CV is a skill that can take some time to master, but is well worth the effort, and enable you to show employers that you are the best candidate for the job. 

What to include in a good CV

Profile paragraph 

On average, employers spend less than seven seconds scanning over a candidate’s CV, so it’s important to capture their attention from the start. This is where a concise and interesting profile paragraph is important, to pick out a few achievements and skills that are relevant to the job role. Keep it short and snappy, as well as mention your career aims, so employers can see how you would like to progress in the sector you are applying for.

Work History and Experience

The most crucial element to writing a good CV is the section about your previous work experience. This is the part where you really get to shout about what you achieved in your previous role, and how you can best apply your knowledge and experience to your new role. Ensure you lay them out in reverse chronological order, putting your most recent role first. It is important to not just list daily duties you had to carry out in your role, but instead highlight your skills using the STAR method. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result, and is a handy way to ensure every point you make is relevant.

Here is an example from the National Careers Service:

Situation - in my previous digital marketing job, the company wanted to get more people to sign up to a newsletter which was not receiving a lot of attention.

Task - my job was to find a way of getting more people to sign up.

Action - I organised a meeting with other important members of the marketing team to come up with creative ideas, and I led the social media campaign to generate interest in the revamped newsletter.

Result - over a period of 3 months, there was a 25% increase in sign-ups to the newsletter and the approach I took was used by the management team in other departments.


As with work experience, make sure to list your education in reverse chronological order, with your most recent education listed first. Make sure to include results and achievements, but also keep it concise: there is no need to list out every single GCSE subject and grade; simply ’10 GCSE A*-C’ is sufficient.

A good CV format

Make sure to include your name as the title (it’s a waste of space labelling it as ‘Curriculum Vitae’), as well as your phone number, email address, home address, and ideally, your LinkedIn handle. There is no need to include your date of birth or a photo unless specified. Regarding layout, it is important that the CV looks clean and easy to read. Ensure spacing is consistent throughout the CV, the text is the same font and size, and end with ‘references available on request’.

 How to write a good CV – top tips

  •        Choose a professional font such as Arial, and make sure the font size is between 10-12 so the employer can read it.
  •        Divide your CV into sections with clear headings, in bold and between sizes 14-16.

  •       Save your document correctly, e.g., ‘Joe Bloggs’ – CV’ and ensure it is in PDF format so it can’t be edited.

  •         Keep your CV to one or two pages, any more any you are overloading people with too much information.

  •         Tailor your CV specifically to the job role, and ensure your CV matches what the company puts in their job description. Although time-consuming, it will pay off!

  •        Don’t lie or over-exaggerate your achievements – it will only backfire and cause you to look dishonest in front of your potential employer.

  •      Proofread it multiple times, as well as ask other people to cast their eye over it. They might spot something you missed, and it could make all the difference. 

Make sure to check out our other great blogs on Management Consulting CV Examples and Advice, Tips for Writing a Great Management Consulting CV and How Long Should a Management Consulting CV be.

 If you have any questions or comments about this, or any general management consultancy recruitment enquiries, then please get in touch. If you are looking for a management consulting recruiter, learn more about the way we work at Ascent Professional Services. To learn more about the team at Ascent, view our About us page, alternatively, you can read more recruitment advice written by our team of management consultancy recruitment experts.

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