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How to write an effective CV that gets you noticed

A CV is where you make your first impression on a potential employer. Which means it has to be the best you can possibly make it. Think of your CV as a crucial first handshake. Make it count.

Effective CVs are clear, relevant and tailored specifically for the job you're applying for. At Credit Suisse we review thousands of applications every year. This is why we have a keen eye for CVs that stand out from the crowd. Here are our expert tips on how to write a compelling CV and boost your chances of securing an interview.

How to present your CV

Before you get started on the details, make sure your CV is set out clearly and simply in a readable, plain, consistent font at 10 to 12 point size. Aim for no more than two pages – your CV should be concise and to-the-point. The recruiter's eye will initially be drawn to the middle segment of the page, so put the most important information here. Set out the page so each point is easy to read at a glance. Use bold font to highlight section headings.

Do your research

Now that you know how your CV should look it's time to do your research on the role you are applying for and Credit Suisse as a company. Make sure you know the job specification in depth. Get a feel for Credit Suisse by looking at our social media, press reports and blogs. Show you understand the job and the people you could be working with.

What to include on your CV

  1. Name and up-to-date contact details
  2. Brief paragraph as a profile, summarizing your key skills, experience and career goals
  3. Education and qualifications (main points, most recent first)
  4. Work history and experience
  5. Relevant skills – link these to the job description
  6. Interests and hobbies – keep this concise and stick to activities that show skills connected to the role
  7. Summary of your achievements
  8. Two references (CH only) – at least one employer, or a teacher if you are a student

CV writing tips in outline

  • Tell us your story.
    Tailor your CV to the role. Set out your experiences clearly. Elaborate on your most recent work.
  • Be authentic and show transparency.
    Tell us about your experience, education, and extracurricular engagement. Show how these link to aspects of the job by pinpointing your transferable skills. Be honest about your professional decisions. Explain any gaps. 
  • Stand out and sell yourself.
    Use active adjectives and verbs like 'achieved', 'created' and 'demonstrated' to describe your contributions. Use quantitative details to demonstrate success. If you've had a leadership role, tell us about the team and your work.
  • Keep it concise.
    Make sure all information is relevant. The recruiter wants to see whether you are capable of doing the job, how well you will work with their team and what benefits you will bring to the company. Use every chance to show them just what an asset you will be in that specific role. Avoid exaggerating, but don't be afraid to showcase your skills and credentials.
  • Be thorough and check for errors.
    Proofread for spelling and grammar. Ask a friend to read a final copy.

An impressive CV will excite recruiters and improve your chances at receiving interview requests. Once you've got your foot in the door, read our tips on how to succeed at interviews here and supercharge your career.

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