stand out from the crowd

We have an excellent guest post this week from our friends over at CV-Library, the award-winning Job Board, on the much researched topic of how to write a CV and more importantly how to write a CV fit for the HR space.

Like us the team at CV-Library are extremely well placed to advise on what really does work in the market.

Here's their very informative article below and we would particularly draw your attention to the advice in Tip 2 on tailoring your CV which we believe is critical for HR CV's.


With such high competition for HR jobs, you will have to pull out all the stops if you want your CV to stand out from the crowd (for the right reasons). But what does that entail? Read on for our three top tips on how to write a stand-out HR CV.


1. Format it



Don’t get creative with the design. Use standard font to ensure an easy read, such as Times New Roman or Arial in sizes 11 or 12.

Also, make sure that your CV follows this layout and mark each of your sections with bold headings:

  • Name and contact details

  • Personal statement

  • Key skills

  • Employment history

  • Education and qualifications

  • Any other information

Allow for plenty of white space. You can do this easily by keeping paragraphs to a maximum of three lines and utilising bullet points where possible. You want your CV to look enticing and easy to read. No one wants to be faced with a wall of text.

Also, by keeping your sentences short and pithy, you demonstrate your strong communication skills. You can save any in-depth discussions for the interview or touch on them in your cover letter if you feel the need to.

It’s also worth change your job titles to recognisable ones if they aren’t already. Don’t assume that every recruiter will understand niche HR terminology.

Keep your CV to a maximum of two A4 page. If you’ve gone over that, chop, chop and chop some more. A long CV isn’t necessary, and you won’t do yourself any favours by not cutting it down. Recruiters don’t want to have to wade through reams of paper to pull out the relevant information about you. Highlight your best bits and put them first. Anything else is surplus to requirement.

Make sure your name, email and phone number are at the top of each page of your CV. Rest assured that if your CV can be separated, it will be, and you want the two halves to find each other again. You don’t want to miss out on an interview because the recruiter couldn’t find your email address.

If you’re submitting an electronic CV, include a link to your LinkedIn profile too – recruiters are only going to check out your social footprint, so you might as well make their lives easy.


2. Tailor it



As with any job application you have to tailor your HR CV for each job you apply for. It can be a little time-consuming, but if you can’t be bothered to answer the recruiter’s questions with specific answers and instead send a generic CV, then don’t expect to hear back from anyone worthwhile.

It’s so easy to tailor an HR CV. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Read the job description

  • Pull out the keywords and phrases pertinent to the job you’re applying for.

  • Sprinkle them liberally throughout your CV. Just don’t overdo it. There is a fine line between keyword stuffing and satisfying the CV sifting robots, and ensuring your CV reads smoothly and satisfying the human recruiter.

  • Make sure you match (as best you can), the ideal candidate requirements.

  • List the skills and experience that the employer requires under your key skills section of your HR CV and support each one with a statement. And remember, show, don’t tell. Show the reader what you did and what you achieved with quantifiable evidence, people understand numbers. Simply telling them you did something is not proof in itself.


3. Make your personal profile work for you



Your opening paragraph should capture the recruiter’s attention, whilst highlighting why you’re the ideal candidate for the HR job. Be enthusiastic but don’t come across as a cheerleader. Whet the recruiter’s appetite sufficiently to have them want to continue reading your CV and then to invite you in for an interview.

Ensure it covers three main points:

  • Who you are

  • What you do (or what you want to do)

  • What you will bring to the HR party, should you be offered the job


This is the one section of your CV that you get to reveal an iota of personality (you can go into further detail in your cover letter), so do it right.

Remember, you don’t get a second shot at making a great first impression.


CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.


If you are thinking of a career change, here at Lucy Walker Recruitment we frequently have HR opportunities available with clients. 

We have placed and filled over 100,000 temp and permanent assignments over the last 30 years so have a range of techniques, ideas and platforms which could help you. Why not call us on 0113 367 2880 to have a conversation with one of our team. Alternatively drop us an email here or check out our Testimonials and Case Studies.



About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry