How To Write And Structure A CV

21 February 2023

How To Structure a CV

Writing your CV can be difficult. It’s really hard to turn the microscope on yourself and, basically, boast. Research has shown that potential employers will only skim-read your CV for 6 seconds before deciding whether they are going to bother to read it properly or throw it in the ‘unsuccessful’ pile. With such a short amount of time to make a good impression, what do you need to do to make sure that you stand out for all the right reasons?

Let’s take a look at some foolproof CV tips to show you how to write the perfect CV for your dream job.


CV layout

Simplicity is key here. If someone is only going to look at your document for 6 seconds then they’ll need to be able to instinctively understand the layout at a moment’s glance. That means no fancy columns, emojis, and icons; just clearly defined sections that follow each other.


CV structure

Your CV needs to flow like a story; in sequential order. Start with a brief introduction of you and your talents before moving on to a section with a few cherry-picked examples of your most impressive achievements. Follow this with details of your strengths, skills and achievements (starting with your most recent position), then a condensed timeline of your career history. Finally, end the document with a summary of any academic achievements.


Contact details

Name, any academic letters after your name, phone number, and email address are all that are required here. You could include a link to a LinkedIn profile if it reflects you well. 


The personal statement

This should only be a maximum of 8 lines long and should introduce elements of your achievements that will entice the reader to continue. For example; ‘A seasoned Warehouse Manager with a traceable history of improving efficiencies and reducing waste by 56%.’

Short, sweet, and to the point.  



Bullet point a few of your most impressive relevant achievements. If you’re applying for a job in engineering, your experience in Mech Eng will be highly valuable to an employer – your medal for finishing 2nd in a swimming competition when you were 12, less so.


Your achievements

This is where you really sell yourself. Start with a header that includes your job title, where you worked and the dates you were there. Focus on the most recent 10 years of your career as this is what your potential new employer will be most interested in. Try to include an equal mix of responsibilities Vs achievements, and remember that context is everything. For example, if you just put ‘increased revenue to £10,000,’ that tells us nothing. If the previous revenue was £200 then that’s impressive. If the previous revenue was £9,999 it’s not. Again, relate the content to the position you are applying for.


Think of it this way; would you hire yourself if you couldn’t demonstrate that you have nothing to bring to the table?


Career timeline

Keep this as brief as possible to leave more room to shout about your achievements. Your job title, where you worked, and the dates you were there, that’s it. 


Academic achievements

Keep this as brief as your career timeline. Enter the course you were on, the grade you achieved, and when you achieved it. Depending on what job you are applying for, try to keep this to college level and above – no one is interested in what you did at primary school. 


Special achievements

Reserve this for things that will make you stand out. Charitable acts, volunteering, being a member of a school board, being a sports coach that has brought success, that kind of thing. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is impressive and leaves a good final impression – being the owner of 3 cats is not. 


Conclusion: What makes a good CV?


There are a few simple rules to follow if you’re going to make your CV stand out from the crowd. 






CV advice

Labour 24/7 are one of the leading recruitment agency specialists in the North West.

Now that you know how to structure a CV, we want to hear from you! We always have fantastic vacancies for skilled workers available for a number of different sectors and industries, including logistics, drivers, engineers, waste management, and food production, so get in touch if you are looking for a new opportunity.