Improve your CV and increase your chances

3 mins read
Job Seeker candidates cv resources tips Tips & Advice

As a Senior Consultant at Madison recruitment, I see a lot of CV’s in a number of different formats. It seems that everyone is giving out different advice on the best way to format a CV. At Madison we have a specific template that we use when sending your information to clients and it has proven successful over and over again. Below are some tried and tested tips on CV writing, which I’ve acquired over my 15 years of experience as a recruiter.


Before you can even begin to put together a good CV you need to understand its purpose.

  • A CV is a snapshot of your career history
  • It is used to evaluate your suitability for a specific role that you have applied for
  • A manager or recruiter will be comparing CV’s and will select those that most closely demonstrate the candidate’s ability to effectively perform the task required


With the purpose in mind, your CV should be structured in a way that is logical to the reader, and specifically highlights the evidence that demonstrates your ability to do the task.

You can use the SMART principles for this.

  • Specific: What did you actually physically do specifically, how did you manage/coordinate/lead?
  • Measurable: If you had KPI’s, what where they; what volume did you work with? Processing 10 invoices per day is not the same as processing 150 invoices per day.
  • Achievements: what did you accomplish in your role? What was your proudest moment in that role?
  • Reasonable: Assume the person reading your CV has no idea what your job is.
  • Timely: The most recent and relevant experience should be at the top and should be specifically tailored to reflect the skills required for the particular role that you are applying to. An easy way to do this is to use the advert/job description as a basis for the skills you want to highlight first under each job. If you have roles that are not relevant to the job you are applying for (you are a lawyer but worked in a cafe through Uni), then do not put down any tasks as they are irrelevant.

Bullet Points

I have heard conflicting advice on bullet points, but I can tell you, when you have 100 CV’s to screen and you have to scan over a story style CV, there is a good chance that even the best recruiters will miss important information about your experience. Bullet points control the eye of the reader and ensure that they are reading the most important information first. This will increase your chances of being selected for the next stage of the process.

E.g: Bullet points

  • Control the eye of the reader
  • Highlight the most important information first
  • Increase your chances of being selected

If you think your resume needs some work, and would like to see an example of our Madison Template, please feel free to contact me–

Sarah Tasker
Manager - Business Support Auckland

A bit about me I joined the Madison family in September 2013, after working in healthcare recruitment for 13 years. I specialise in Administration, Reception, Sales & Marketing, Finance and Executive roles. I…

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