Tips for a standout CV

We are continuing to work with women during lockdown to prepare them for work in the construction industry, with many coming to us for advice and guidance on CV writing during this time. If you are also revising yours, here are the WiC team’s top tips to help your CV stand out…

Be yourself.
View your ‘Personal Statement’ as an opportunity to introduce yourself. Tell the recruiter why you want this role and what makes you the ideal candidate. Why do you want to work in construction? What are your ambitions? If you jump straight into your work experience, the recruiter won’t gain a sense of YOU, and that’s what makes you unique!

CVs are not one size fits all.
Make sure you tailor your CV to the job description and person specification for the role you are applying for. Give clear examples of how your skills and experience meet the requirements for the position.

Be specific.
It’s easy to list out the tasks associated with your past roles in bullet points, but most recruiters already know this information from the job title alone. Instead, display how you made a difference in that role and quantify where possible. e.g. “I implemented new processes on-site that reduced waste by 20% in 2019 compared to the year prior”.

Spellcheck.
Spelling and grammar mistakes can put off recruiters but are easily avoided. Don’t forget to use spellcheck and ask a friend or family member – or your WiC Project Manager, to read it over. Even professional copywriters make typos, so two sets of eyes can avoid any frustrating mistakes.

Cover all requests.
If a recruiter has asked for a cover letter, ensure you write one – writing ‘See my CV attached’ as your covering letter is not sufficient if one is requested. You are showing here that you can follow instructions. It shouldn’t be too long, 3-4 paragraphs and should include;

– The role you are applying for, where it was advertised and why you are interested in working for that company. Do some research!

– Highlight three key areas of your experience that relate to the main duties required by the role

– What else you are bringing to the table that you haven’t mentioned above but again relate it to the job description

– That you feel your experience makes you a suitable match for the position and would welcome the opportunity to learn more about the company and discuss the role further

Keeping it simple.
A well-tailored CV doesn’t need to be too long; we’d suggest a length of two pages ideally, now more than three. An easy to read CV is preferable, so keep your writing concise and relevant.

If you’re registered to Women into Construction and would like further advice and guidance, or would like to sign-up, please contact [email protected] for more information.