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The dos and don’ts of writing a professional CV

Written By MK Career Solutions
Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you are considering making a career change, then one of the first questions you might be asking is how you can present a professional CV that will get noticed by recruiters. With such a large amount of information available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the information out there.

Having reviewed hundreds of CVs from clients looking to create a new CV, here are some of the most common ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ we recommend to our clients

What to do when updating your CV:

  • Use bullet points as much as possible – Given that the average time spent reviewing a CV is less than 10 seconds, you want your information to be displayed in the clearest and most concise form. With the exception of the personal profile section, we recommend the career history, key skills and key achievements sections to be structured in 2-line max bullet points to read succinctly.
  • Adjust your CV for every role – By making your CV specific to each application, you increase your chances of being noticed and invited to an interview. A simple way to do this is to specifically reference the job title you are applying for in the personal profile paragraph at the top of your CV. You might also consider aligning the competencies listed in the ‘Key Skills’ section with the key requirements stated in the job specification of interest.
  • Include a URL to your LinkedIn profile – Your LinkedIn profile is a representation of your professional credibility and is sure to be checked out by your future employers. By having a complete and up to date profile you are showing your willingness to engage with professional mediums whilst also allowing any interested parties to validate the information they see on your CV.


What not to do when updating your CV:

  • Speak in first person – Overuse of the word ‘I’ can limit your ability to sell yourself without sounding repetitive. Using third person language opens up a wider range of vocabulary you can use to highlight your personality, achievements and skills.
  • Overcompensate for ATS Optimisation – There are many myths out there about the use of AI and software to automatically sift and reject incoming CVs. Whilst such technology does exist, it is not widespread or commonly adopted by the majority of employers. The reality is a human being is still likely to be making the decision, even if it is communicated to you through technology! Don’t get bogged down by keywords and focus on communicating your value in the most genuine and sincere way – this will increase the chances of winning the confidence of a human being!
  • Provide details of your entire career history – Employers only tend to focus on the last 10 years of your career so make this a priority when updating your CV. Remember – the CV is not there to get you a job, only to secure an interview. You can always provide additional depth in your LinkedIn profile or disclose it if appropriate during your interview.


At MK Career Solutions, we take the work out of finding a new job. If you would like your CV to be professionally reviewed, feel free to submit your CV here.

Finding a job is a journey, 
not a destination.

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