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"A great recruitment company to work with! Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with."
Agathe Bauchet, Candidate
How Long Should Your CV Be?
Many candidates worry unduly about their CV. What to put in it? What tone and design? And how long should it be? All valid questions, but once you’ve made an effort to perfect it, you won’t need to do it again, apart from some necessary tweaking to suit each particular job application or general updating here and there.
Assuming that you’re truthful, write in a grammatically-correct and engaging style that tells recruiters things they want and need to read about you, one of the most important things you must consider is the length.
While many experts have their own opinions, the consensus is that two pages are about right. Any less and you risk appearing inexperienced or merely having nothing much of interest to say.
In sales, for example, if you can’t sell yourself, why should potential employers think you can sell for them? Writing way too much turns recruiters off and tells them instantly that you’re unable to communicate succinctly. You might get away with three, or maybe even four pages at a stretch, but any more than that? Forget it.
What should I put in my CV?
Knowing your ideal CV length of two pages is one thing, but you still need to ensure you’ve included everything in it that a recruiter expects, giving you the optimum chance of making it to the first interview stage.
That’s where your awesome personality and character will shine through, but that doesn’t mean your CV has finished its job. Your interviewer will use your CV as a prompt for questions and probe your experience and beliefs to see if you’ll be ideal for the job and a great cultural fit.
So, what MUST you include in the document?
- Your employment history in reverse chronological order, i.e. put your most recent job first. You need to include a little bit about what the company does and your role within it.
- Your key achievements are, well, key. Be sure to specify your big successes to demonstrate to recruiters that you’re a competent achiever in your current and previous roles. Doing so implies you’d succeed in your next job. An interviewer will dig more in-depth here, so make sure you have the evidence and results to back up your claims.
- Links to your social media are essential, so long as you appear normal and interesting! Rightly or wrongly, hiring managers will seek out and look over your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages, so make sure you don’t come over as a party animal or spout any political or controversial views on social media.
- If you have any gaps in your CV, perhaps you took a career break to go travelling, look after children, or were made redundant, make this clear. It’s fine to have taken a break, but it’s not okay to cover it up or not address it. To do so implies less savoury reasons for the gap.
- Hobbies and interests will make you sound interesting and show you are more than just a “work machine”. However, be specific, and if at all possible, tailor your interests to suit the role. For example, if trying to bag a sales manager position, now would be a good time to mention you captained or managed a sports team.
- At some point in your CV, ensure you have covered your experience for the job. You should spread these reinforcing messages throughout the document.
- Above all, make sure your spelling and grammar are perfect. Any mistakes will make you appear sloppy, and that’s never a good sign for any role.
What’s the ideal CV structure?
1. Contact details. Include your telephone number and your email address (make sure it’s one you check often). Your address is not necessary, but you may want to detail your town/city/county as a location.
2. Personal summary. This should summarise who you are as a person and be relevant to the job you’re hoping to land. So, for a salesperson, you might write:
I am a results-driven salesperson whose proactive and tenacious style brings many important contract wins. My excellent networking skills bring key client leads for myself and my employers, and my strong client relationship skills allow me to lift existing customer revenues by 12%.
3. Skills summary. Complement your personal summary with a paragraph on your skills. Again, ensure it is relevant to the position and that you include basic office skills. Summarising skills in this way will help your CV be picked up by recruitment software and AI, which is increasingly being used to aid shortlisting.
4. Work Experience. Outline your most recent job first, including a one-line overview of each company so that the reviewer of your CV immediately understands your career.
5. Education and training. Include your most relevant qualifications. So, if you have a degree in astrophysics and an MBA, there’s no need to list all of your GCSEs, although many do and this is not a problem.
6. Hobbies. Be relevant, so team sports, being a captain, volunteering and such are welcome. “Socialising with friends” makes it sound as though you just like going to the pub.
7. References. It’s common now to state: “References are available on request.” Personally, as this is a ‘given’, I would put this valuable CV space to better use.
Once you’ve written it all out, used bolded headings, then check your length. You should be around the two-page limit; the ideal length of a CV.
A final tip, you do not need to put ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top of your CV. Nor do you need to include your marital status, kid’s names, NI Number, religion, sexual orientation, height, weight, parent’s names or other sensitive personal information.
Check, recheck and check yet again for spelling and grammatical errors. Have someone you trust to look over your CV for you, not only for editing purposes but to question everything you have included, just as any recruiter would.
Should I tweak my CV for each application?
Yes, you should. Every job is different. Although roles may be similar, the company and its core values will change. You, therefore, should ensure your CV reflects this every time you apply. Tweak your personal statement, skills, and experience accordingly.
By producing the best CV you can, you’ll maximise your chances of getting an interview, and winning your dream job.
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Managing Director, Leisuresec plc
Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.
CEO, Friday Ad Online Services
Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.
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We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.
Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.
Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment
Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.
Sales Director, Inside Business
Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.
UK Sales Manager, Nexcom
I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
HR Business Partner, Greene King
In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.
Sales Manager, TR Fasteners
We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.
Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management
Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.
Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions
I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.
HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd
I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.
HR and General Manager, THK
I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!
Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd
Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
Marketing Director, City of London Police
Our candidates say...
I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.
S. Akers, Candidate
Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.
C. Hoy, Candidate
The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!
A. Callaby, Candidate
Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.
M. Crisp, Candidate
Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.
L. Taylor, Candidate
Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.
R. Buckley, Candidate
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, Candidate
I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.
M. Shutt, Candidate
A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!
A. Bauchet, Candidate
Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.
D. Richards, Candidate
Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.
M. Green, Candidate
Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.
R. Speakman, Candidate
Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
M. White, Candidate
Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.
S. Bartlett, Candidate
Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.
C. Caine, Candidate
Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)
K. Everitt, Candidate
The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.
L. Colagrossi, Candidate
I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!
D. Burgess, Candidate
Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!
J. Hathaway, Candidate
Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.
R. Sealy, Candidate