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Make a Great First Impression With a Stylish CV

Your CV has up to 8.8 seconds to grab a potential employer’s attention. First impressions matter. And, at Angel, from hiding great skills and experience amongst too much information, to boring the pants off your recruiter with CV cliches, we’ve seen it all – the good, the bad, and, yes, the ugly!

So, in honour of London Fashion Week, we thought we’d show you how to make a great first CV impression, with 7 fashion-themed steps.

“I think in black.” – Gareth Pugh

Unless you’re showcasing your skills for a design role keep your CV understated. Black type on a white background is easiest to read.

Bad formatting is a reader’s nightmare:
– Space things out
– Use bullet points and headings

Make your CV easy to scan with the eye and let your best points shine.

“Less is more.” – Anon

When it comes to CV content less is definitely more. Two sides of A4 is the length du jour.

Do include:

● Contact details
● A personal statement or objective
● Your employment history
● Relevant education and qualifications
● Skills and strengths – with examples
● Mention that references are available on request

Don’t include:

● Everything you’ve ever done regardless of relevance

“Style – all who have it share one thing: originality.” – Diana Vreeland

Though there is a CV ‘uniform’ don’t simply follow the herd. Everyone else is saying: “I’m great in a team but I can work on my own initiative.” So ask yourself: Why would an employer pick ME off the application shelf?

Think three little letters: USP.

Know your Unique Selling Point and cultivate a personal brand through your choice of words and what you share. Check out our USP top tips, HERE.

“I need you looking like a man who belongs at that table.” – Vesper Lynd to James Bond

Tailoring your CV to the role and the company is vital. How else to show you’re the right fit? Send a generic, albeit well presented CV, and you’ll probably be overlooked in favour of the person who’s done their research and tweaked their CV accordingly.

Remember: Highlight skills and qualifications pertinent to the role requirements. There’s no point leading with your MI5 credentials if you’re applying for a 9 to 5 admin job, for example.

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” ― Coco Chanel

Make a glaring spelling or grammar gaff and your first impression could be your last. Use your spell check – you’d be surprised how many people don’t! Even better, write your CV then show it to someone else. Fresh eyes spot mistakes.

Not a confident writer? Got no-one to give your CV the once over? Join a recruitment agency and your agent will give you some advice.

“I feel that flip-flops are the downfall of many relationships.” – Lady Gaga

A CV is no place for dressing down. Whether you’re applying to the Ritz or MacDonald’s your writing should be well-groomed.

Whatever you write and however you present it use plain English. No jargon, no abbreviations, no slang, no text speak – unless it’s relevant! If someone needs a dictionary or an acronym checker to translate your CV you’ve probably lost them and your opportunity.

“I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of [an] outfit.” – Michael Kors

You know those hobbies and interests you squeeze in at the bottom of your CV if you’ve got space? Well learn to work them like a good accessory.

Don’t say: I like reading; OR I enjoy sport.

Do say: I love reading biographies because I like to learn what makes people tick; OR I enjoy playing team sports, like football.

In essence your hobby or interest can be used to give a hint of personality and to highlight your unique capabilities.

Next Steps: How’s your CV looking?

● Share your insights or ask us questions here using #AngelView and you could WIN our stylish Angel Notebook!
● Want some real life CV guidance? Sign up with Angel and speak with one of our Consultants HERE