What Do the Best CVs Have In Common?

Most people hate writing a CV. It is often something people procrastinate because it can be incredibly painstaking to do and can often be seen as a chore. 

Although it may seem like a chore, making sure you have a professional and up-to-date resumé is essential for anyone who is looking to apply for jobs. Without a great CV, you are very unlikely to get the job of your dreams. Moreover, with so many people looking for work during these uncertain times, you need to make sure that you stand out from the average candidate. 

Here are some of the things that all of the best CVs have in common so that you know what to include in yours. 

The correct format 

There are a variety of different CV styles you can use, and some are better than others for different job applications. The best CV’s will be written by people who have carefully researched which layout is the best for them and the job they are applying for. 

Here are some of the most common types of CV format, and when you should use them.

  1. Skills-based CV 

This layout consists of a profile, a selection of your skills with explanations of how they are used, and then a list of your jobs without any duties mentioned. This CV highlights all of the skills you have as a priority. 

You should use this type of CV if you are applying for a lot of jobs that require a similar skill set, as this means you don’t have to seriously edit your resumé every time you apply for a different job. If you don’t have a huge amount of experience in the sector you want to work for, this will highlight your transferable skills over the gaps in your experience.

  1. Chronological CV

This is the most popular type of CV and puts your career history at the very forefront of your resumé. If you have had a consistent career without any gaps and varied job descriptions, this is the perfect CV layout for you. It also means that if you have a huge variety of skills and achievements you can list them all quickly.

  1. Creative CV

This is one of the more uncommon kinds of CV but can reap great rewards if you do it right. If you are applying to a highly creative role (such as video editor or website designer), why not show off your skills with a video CV or a website based CV?

Ensuring that you pick the best format for your CV will help you get noticed by potential employers, as they will see that you have spent a lot of time crafting the correct CV for the role. 

A professional layout

If you are applying to a very popular role that has hundreds of applicants, you need to make sure that your CV stands out from the rest. If you have a boring and plain document, this is never going to happen. 

If you want to stand out, you should consider using a CV template. You can get these online for free, and there are usually dozens of cv examples to choose from. It can often be incredibly difficult to create a CV on websites such as Word, as it is not designed to create well-formatted and complex documents. 

A professional layout will not only make your CV more noticeable and readable, but many templates have layouts that allow you to highlight the key points of your resumé, making it easier for employers to see your key skills quickly. 

Make sure you brag but don’t lie

Many people, when writing about themselves, feel awkward if they brag about their achievements. According to a LinkedIn study in 2018, many people feel embarrassed about drawing attention to their winning characteristics, especially women. The study showed that women listed 11% fewer skills than men. 

Although it may feel awkward, it is incredibly important that you accentuate your skills in your CV. If you are humble, potential employers will just think that your skillset is very limited and basic. 

However, while it is important to brag about your achievements, you mustn’t come across as arrogant. You must also never lie. Whilst it can seem easy to add little extras to your CV to make yourself seem more employable, it could land you in serious trouble. The truth will always be out, so make sure you only accentuate real skills and experience. 

Make sure you do your research

If you want to be considered for a role, you need to do your research on the company. What are their values, and how do you math the ethos of the company?

Many companies will have a specific skills list on their job advert. Make sure you take the time to read through each job description before you apply and tailor your CV for each one. Use the keywords they use throughout to ensure you will get noticed for having the right attributes. 

Make sure you include a cover letter

Most companies will ask for a cover letter to go alongside your CV. A cover letter is a document that is sent alongside your CV and acts as a brief introduction to the potential employer. 

This is the first thing your potential employer will see, so you have to make sure it stands out. So make sure you spend enough time on it, as it is arguably just as important as the rest of your application. If you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure that you use the same style of template for your cover letter that you used for your CV. 


Writing a CV might seem like a chore, but get it right, and you could have a job in no time. Make sure you follow the tips and advice given to make sure you stand out from the crowd.