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Many recruitment agencies and organisations will search for candidates via online CV databases or their own internal recruitment systems.  These will work very much like a 'search engine', therefore you need to write your CV with this in mind.

Also, a lot of these systems have a 'parsing engine' built into them, which is a bit of software that intelligently strips out the key information from your CV and stores it in a structured way on their database.  For example, it will automatically identify names, email addresses, job titles, skills and locations.

Recruiters, HR professionals and Internal Recruitment Managers will typically search with specific keywords, which could be a job title, a skill or industry reference and then screen through the results.  Having the correct keywords and format in your CV could be the difference between it being found or not.

Here are some things to consider:

• Use a simple text format and clear layout.
• Although making text bold, italic, underlined, etc... can make it easier to the person to read, it will obviously have no bearing on how the online systems will read it!  The important thing here is getting the main information included and using appropriate job titles and keywords.
• Make sure the format of your CV is as generic as possible.  The most common formats are .doc, .docx and PDF

Structure of your CV

Name and Contact Details

We would recommend always having this section at the top of your CV.  Include as much contact information as possible.  Try and use a sensible email address, as using a 'fun' email address doesn't always give the right impression to those reviewing your CV.

Career Objective and Summary
Here you can briefly mention your key strengths and outline what you are looking to achieve in your next career move.  This doesn't need to be too long, we would suggest no more than 2-3 sentences.

Work Experience

This is where it is key to ensure you have as many relevant keywords and suitable job titles to help your CV get found online.  For example, we once received a CV where the current job title was 'Service Desk Analyst', which would typically be associated with an IT position.  The candidate actually worked as a Receptionist in a large high rise office, looking after visitors, inbound calls and facilities administration.  This is a prime example of an internal job title not reflecting what a recruiter would search if they were looking for experienced Receptionists or Facilities Administrators.  Always try and make your CV relative to the type of opportunities you are interested in pursuing.  

As well as the Job Title, Start and End Dates and Employer, include a good summary of your role to highlight your skills.  You should also include your achievements within that role, and try and include relevant keywords.

Professional Qualifications and Education.
Here you should list your professional and educational qualifications, with the most recent first.  You can also include any completed training courses that are relevant to the position.

Social Media

Don't forget your social media profiles!  Nowadays a high percentage of employers/recruiters will check social networking sites, so don't forget to change your privacy settings on any profiles you may have, if you do not want them to be viewed.

If you would like any advice or tips on your CV, then please get in touch and we'd be happy to help.