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How to write the perfect CV and LinkedIn profile

First impressions are hugely important, so, your CV and LinkedIn profile need to reflect this.

As HR recruitment consultants, we’ve seen it all when it comes to the good, the bad and the ugly of CVs and LinkedIn profiles, and people regularly ask us to advise them on how best to present themselves to the market. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together some hints and tips below on how to improve your CV and LinkedIn profile, to make you stand out. 

Creating a great CV 

There are many varying ideas on what a good CV looks like, and this will differ on an individual basis. 

That said, there are some best practice hints and tips, which will steer you in the right direction to creating a perfect CV. 

  • Be truthful – you will be found out if you embellish facts 
  • Keep your CV current and chronological 
  • You don’t need to include graphics or photos in your CV 
  • Define key areas with bullet points and don’t cram everything you’ve ever achieved into your CV, leave some white space 
  • Demonstrate your achievements and be precise 
  • Your CV shouldn’t be the length of War and Peace – three pages will suffice, but, equally, one page isn’t enough 
  • Don’t just list your responsibilities, make sure your CV is achievements based and highlights the impact your actions had on the business 
  • Show the value you add – demonstrate commercials, context and the return on investment 
  • Numbers stand out – so, include how many employees, sites, size of budgets, cost reduction, increase in retention, reduction in attrition you were responsible for – it makes for a much more interesting read 

How to create a good LinkedIn profile 

LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool, with 675m users across 200 countries. 

The network has two new users per second* so it is important you optimise your profile to give yourself the best chance of standing out from the crowd. 

Here’s some advice on how to create a good LinkedIn profile: 

  • Choose a good photograph of yourself. Your profile picture is the first thing someone viewing your profile will see, so make sure you’re dressed professionally and the image of high quality. Making sure you have uploaded a background photo that is relevant and stands out also shows people looking at your profile that you’ve put time into your account. 
  • Your headline doesn’t have to be your job title – tell the audience a bit about yourself. Similarly, take time to complete your summary section – and include what skills you have, and how they enable you to successfully undertake your role. 
  • Connect with the people you meet or have met. Look at the suggested connections that are linked to your email address and send a connection request if they’re relevant to your industry/experience. 
  • Update your skills and review them regularly – it’s important to include the skills you have that are relevant to the role you do and not ones that aren’t key. Try and get endorsements from your network for the skills you list. 
  • Recommendations are a great way of showing people viewing your profile on how valued you are by peers. These testimonials show your authenticity and ability.  
  • LinkedIn Learning is a good way of showing your continual professional development. 
  • Share regular – and relevant – content. Try and post about once a weekday, whether it’s a news article that’s linked to your sector or a study – it shows you’re passionate about your industry. Engage in posts you see in your feed by liking or comment, it’s good to be active and will help you show up. 
  • Take time to follow relevant hashtags to your industry and network, and don’t overdo hashtags when posting updates – around three per post is good practice. 

If you’re an HR professional struggling to find the inspiration – or time – to write your CV, or you need some impartial advice, please contact us to book a CV Aid session. 

For each consultation, we’re asking for a donation to the Red Cross, which is helping people affected by the Coronavirus.

You can find out more here


About the author

Jennifer Gaster is the Founder and Director of HR Heads, an HR recruitment agency that specialises in placing senior HR professionals in leadership positions across London, Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire, Surrey, and the Thames Valley.

Click here to connect with Jen on LinkedIn.


*Source: LinkedIn https://news.linkedin.com/about-us#statistics