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What Do Employers Really Want to See on a CV?

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Whether you’re applying for work for the first time, wanting to gain a promotion, or completely change your career, you’ll need a high-quality CV that helps you to stand out from the crowd. When they’re recruiting for jobs, employers have to sift through hundreds of these, many of which use the same old generic phrases and list similar kinds of things, so you want yours to be a little more eye-catching. Here’s what employers really want to see when they’re looking for a new candidate

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Recent education

Any education you have is beneficial even if it was a long time ago, however that dusty old college diploma or university degree might be holding less weight than you think. Chances are, having this kind of education will allow you to meet the basic entry requirements to apply for the job, but it won’t be knocking anyone’s socks off. Especially if your education was in a subject that’s unrelated to the job that you’re applying for. What can look more impressive is recent, relevant education. Things like online courses, for example, show that you’ve pursued more knowledge, and will likely have the information that employers are looking for. Best of all, these kinds of courses don’t need to cost a lot and can be done in a flexible way from home. 

Whether you’re applying for work for the first time, wanting to gain a promotion, or completely change your career, you’ll need a high-quality CV that helps you to stand out from the crowd.

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Experience is one of the most important things on your CV, but it can be difficult to get. If this is your first job or you’re looking to change career then you might struggle gaining the experience you need. One way to go about this is by doing voluntary work in the area you want to work in. It shows employers that you’re serious about this particular line of work, and can help you stand out from other candidates. 

“When you’re looking for a new job, it can be really tough to experience setbacks. Say you found the perfect job. Or what you thought was the right job for you. And you apply. And you get a no. Or you apply for ten jobs – a hundred jobs – and you get more no’s. One after the other. What do you do? Do you feel motivated and inspired to keep applying and find that dream job? Or do you feel miserable? Sure, some people will react in the latter way, but for most people, it’s the former. Because it can crush you to get a no when what you really wanted was a yes.” – 10 Things That Can Recharge Your Resume

Relevant hobbies

Hobbies can be a great way to showcase additional, relevant skills you have to employers. For example, if you’re applying for a very team-based job then mentioning that you play a team sport could show that you really can work with others. If you’ve got your own blog set up on a custom website it can show that you’re creative, know how to write for an audience, and promote across social media. Don’t just make things up, but use this as an opportunity to improve yourself. Take up a new hobby and use it to better yourself and build skills which in turn will look good on your cv. 


Being able to drive can improve your career prospects, even if the job you’re applying for doesn’t involve driving. This is because it gives you the flexibility to get around and get to workplaces that might be difficult to access with public transport. If the job involves things like community care (in healthcare) or sales (in retail) then being able to get from place to place will be essential. Without a car and license you might get overlooked for the position, even if everything else made you a strong candidate.

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