Category: Candidates, Contracting, CV
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How to get the best contractor CV on the market

Are you finishing a role? Is it time to start looking again? Make your search easier by creating a CV that is the best fit for your next step.

Let’s set the scene: a line manager has at least 20 CVs in front of them with only one job to fill. Taking around 30-90 seconds, the line manager will decide which CV ticks all the boxes.

But, how do contractors make their statement?

As a contractor, more often than not, you are responsible for giving the best first impression on paper. With today’s competitive job market, having the best and most up to date CV will be sure to sell your skills in no time.

These tips will help turn your CV into your best advert:

Keep your skills clear and concise

Always remember to get to the point: can someone clearly read through and understand your CV in one minute?

Just like the interview you’re trying to get, the most important thing you need to highlight is your skills. Whether you’re a fully qualified Engineer or starting out in customer service, the skills you have and the key words that employers search for are essential to get to the next stage.

You should also prioritise what skills are the most important so that your CV matches the role of interest. The best way to consider this is by imagining that anyone can read your CV against the job description and be able to recognise that you are the best fit.

It is inevitable that there will be other contractors with different experience levels applying for the same position as you, but, with your skills efficiently highlighted, your CV will stand out from the rest.

Stick to the basics

Generally speaking, CVs should be roughly 2-3 pages long and in a plain format.

As temping as it is to design your CV with pictures and full colour, it can become quite distracting. Keep your CV straight-to-the-point and clear. You should include only relevant information, and that information should be displayed in a readable font, against a distraction free background.

Your personal details

It may be stating the obvious, but, it is important to include your name, email and telephone number clearly at the top of your CV. You do want to be contacted, don’t you?

If you’re lucky enough to be able to speak another language… Include it! It’s best to include languages that you are either fluent in and are able to use at a professional level; don’t oversell yourself on this one.

All information should be relevant and right

Your CV is to sell yourself, but, don’t get caught out for false advertising. All information you include needs to be factually accurate. This includes: dates, locations, job titles, skills and experience whilst in that role.

Your experience should include skills that back up your claim and the proof should be in your summary.

Be aware of spelling, not just to show you’ve paid attention to what you’re writing, but to also make sure that your CV is being picked up by recruiters and line managers who are searching for those all-important keywords. Make sure you include all terminology that you think will be important for the job you’re trying to get.

Does it flow?

Recruiters and line managers look for a particular order to be able to find the correct information quickly; make it easier for them to find you by following this simple, but logical order.

1.     Personal contact details

2.     Summary

3.     Most recent employment:

–       Employment start date

–       Include finishing date if there is one

–       The date must be specific with the month and year (“MM/YY” or e.g. “January 2016”)

4.     The rest of your employment listed in the same format

5.     Employment before 10 years can be included as 1 line

6.     Education details

–       This includes courses and qualifications that are dated correctly


Although your summary needs to appear at the beginning of your CV, you should write it last. As a first person entry, write about the highlights of the experience most important to the role you are applying for. You can also write this in a list format to keep it concise.

Things to bear in mind when writing your summary:

·         It should appear at the beginning

·         Highlight your most relevant work experience

·         Be written first person or in a list

·         A maximum of 2 to 3 sentences


You should now be ready to revamp and rewrite your CV into recognition. Sign-up to download our free template to get you started!

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