Your CV and getting the basics right

9 months ago by Daniel Stargatt
Your CV and getting the basics right

As a recruitment business we see hundreds of CVs every week, from well laid out and easy to read CVs to not so easy to read CVs. It made us realise that there are still lots of candidates not getting the basics right. By this we mean the simple things that actually make it very hard to read a CV and things that really impact the success of an application.

We have written quite a few articles about how to get the best out of a CV, from how to lay it out to what to include and not to include. In this article we are going to discuss the most basic elements of your CV and what you should do.

Contact Details

Probably the most basic thing to include, but it’s quite surprising how many people miss this out. When it comes to contact details we always suggest your best contact number, email address and home address. If you don’t want to include your full home address that’s ok, as long as it is clear which town/city you reside in. This information should be one of the first things on your CV, we suggest below your name so all your personal information is in one easy to find place.

Work history

Work history should always be laid out from most recent/current position and work down in chronological order. Employers and recruitment consultants are more interested in understanding your most recent experience, so make it easy and start with your most recent experience and work your way down.

On top of this, under each position include your projects and achievements, so the reader can easily associate your project experience and achievements with that particular role.

Simple layout

There is no need to make your CV into a brochure. Make it easy to read and easy to digest. We have seen so may CVs that have clearly had a lot of time and effort put into the visuals, but when it came to reading the CV and making sense of it, it was a lot harder to do so. You can make a CV look great with a very simple structure and layout and ultimately there are no prizes for the prettiest CV. It may sound harsh but your CV is there to do one thing and one things only, show off your knowledge, skills and experience.

Sign posting   

The easiest way to make your CV easily readable is to include clear signposts, by the way of titles and sub titles. It just helps draw the eye of the reader and helps with the flow of your CV and makes it easier to follow.


These may sound obvious to you but you’ll be surprised how many people don’t get the basics right. Remember, you’re more than likely not going to be the only applicant for a job you have applied for, so make it as easy as possible for the reader to pull out your key information, so you give yourself the best opportunity of proving you have the necessary experience, skills and knowledge and ultimately securing an interview or a call back.

Looking for more helpful CV advice?

We have put together lots of articles offering help and advice on writing your CV. Below are a few of the most recent articles…

Things not to include in your CV

CV Tips: How should I present information on projects I have worked on?

Why are numbers so important on your CV?

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