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Top tips for a knockout CV

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hands of woman typing on apple macbook
hands of woman typing on apple macbook
hands of woman typing on apple macbook

How to create a knockout CV

When you think about a CV, there’s loads of advice on what to include and what to avoid, how to present it and even how long it should be and that itself can make it tough to know where to start!  If you type into google “what’s a CV” it would tell you that it’s a written overview of your skills, education, and work experience.

Here at AO our internal Talent team see it as so much more than that, they’ve got over 75 years experience between them, so they’ve seen their fair share of CV’s! They see it as your moment to shine, sharing your brilliant experience, your biggest achievements and successes and showing why you’d be the perfect candidate for the role you’re applying for.

Hiring managers and recruiters often only spend a short amount of time looking at a CV, so first impressions really do count, so it’s pretty important that your CV tells a story – your story!  Giving you the best chance possible to get you through to the next stage of the recruitment process.

We get a lot of applications each year, over 50,000 last year alone!

So here’s the top 5 tips from the Talent Acquisition team at AO on what they think makes a brilliant CV;


  1. We love seeing a personal statement at the top of your CV! It’s your chance to shout about the things that make you you, what you’re super proud of and your chance to stand out! Make it personal, hook us in and make those first 30 seconds count, remember it’s the first thing we see!


  1. Keep it up to date. It’s easy to forget all the brilliant things you’ve achieved over the year so we’d recommend a quick sprucing up of your CV every few months to stay on top of it.  You never know when that perfect opportunity could come up and you need to share your CV


  1. Job history is a pretty important one, it makes up most of your CV! Copying and pasting your job description doesn’t tell us about you, it will probably include lots of jargon which might only be relevant to your current company. So instead use it to tell us your key successes and your favourite things about what you do. Make it short and snappy – we love when it’s easy to read so bullet points are a win for us!


  1. Attention to detail is a biggie– make sure your contact details are right, you don’t want to miss that all important call! Make sure your font is all the same, that your spelling is correct and that your bullet points are lined up. It’s the little things that make all the difference and make it look super presentable. Once you’re done, why not ask someone else to have a look too, we love asking each other’s opinions here at AO, and other people sometimes spot something you might not!


  1. Most importantly, keep it real; we love our AOers for being individual and themselves, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be super long. Be honest and make sure it feels like ‘you’, so don’t use buzz words and jargon, instead take the time to think about what you’d like us to see about you and your experience.

So there’s a few of our top tips to get you started and the things we love to see on a CV. We’ll be sharing some more tips soon on what we see as a great LinkedIn profile to go hand in hand with your new and improved CV, so keep an eye out!

AO is for everyone. We should all feel that we belong. That’s why we’re creating a welcoming and inclusive place to work. If you can’t send us a CV for any of our roles for any reason, please let us know by emailing us at

AO – Talent Acquisition Team