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The Four Things You Must Include In Your CV in 2024

Matthew Dowson, Associate Director

written by Matthew Dowson, Associate Director

​If you started the year with a resolution to get a new job, but have not yet brought yourself to open the laptop, double click Microsoft Word and start writing your future.

Our Public Sector & NFP Associate Director,Matthew Dowson details 4 things you must include in your CV, and one thing you most certainly shouldn’t…

#1 Always Put Your Achievements At The Top

No one likes a ‘bragger’, but on a CV, it’s sort of essential. As a recruiter, the average number of applications I receive for an advert is currently 66, so you need to ‘brag’ because I can guarantee if you don’t there are 65 other people who will!

Ideally, your achievements for each job need to sit directly below your work title. These achievements will showcase a mix of qualitative and quantitative points so prospective employers can see evidence of the job duties and results you have performed within a role. Ensure achievements are before job duties and not after. Aprospective employer will skim read your CV and decide whether you’re suitable within 6 seconds,so make sure the best of you is at the top of the paper.

Below is an example of how to structure your achievements on a CV:


ABC Ltd                                                                            January 2020 – Present

Finance Manager


·Awarded the ‘Most Valuable Employee’ in 2022.

·Identified cost savings of £50k through a change of our external auditors.

·Reduced month end close from day 9 to day 3.

·Led on a finance system implementation acting as Finance Project Lead.

Job Duties:

·Completion of the monthly management accounts pack.

·Line manage a team of 4.


#2 Keep Your CV To Under 5 Pages

Prospective employers want to know if your recent experience is relevant to the role you’re applying for, therefore stick to the last 10 years of experience, and do yourself a favour by keeping it under 5 pages! If you are struggling to keep within 5 pages, remove the achievement/ job duties content from roles that you performed over 10 years ago. Please note, it is essential you provide a full career history with dates of employment.

#3 Tailor Your CV For Each Job Application

In my opinion, this is the ‘game changer’ if you are looking to increase your response rate and secure interviews. Whether you are applying for a role through an agency, sending a CV directly or completing a job application, you will get much better results if you take time to tailor your CV to the job description or advert provided.

Of course, this can be time consuming and probably isn’t realistic for every application, however, for those roles that sit on your ‘Dream Job’ pile, take that extra time to read the advert, research the company’s aims, value, mission statement and purpose, then produce a CV that mirrors this information. The time and effort will pay off and the task is made much easier if you have a strong CV template to work off in the first place.

#4 Essential Information You Must Include:

Contact number and email address.You want to be as accessible as possible if you’re invited to an interview.

An engaging opening statement. This is so important, as it’s here where you highlight your biggest achievements such as years of experience, highest qualification and any awards/accreditations you’ve received.

Here is a great example of an opening statement:

ACA qualified, ‘prize winner’ with over 15 years’ experience within Senior Finance Management positions within the Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors. Looking to secure a Director of Finance or equivalent position that offers a challenging environment, whereby strategic and operational value can be added as part of a Senior Leadership Team.

Furthermore, you need to ensure you include:

Interests, Voluntary Roles And Hobbies.Whether you volunteer for charity, a parent school governor, part of your local parish council, captain of a sports team, involved in a niche activity or a committee member, write it down and evidence more about you. If a client can resonate with the person you potentially are on paper, the face to face interview will be much easier as it will create rapport and a common ground.

List of Qualifications, Training Courses and Ongoing CPD.This is evidence to a prospective employer you have continued professional development throughout your career, it shows a constant willingness to improve. Business does not stand still and nor should you.

List of Systems and Software.A prospective employer might be looking for a self-starter on a specific system, Microsoft package or software. Again, this could be a deal breaker between a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from an employer.

Whether you can drive/have access to a car.Again, information that can be missed that could be crucial to the role that you are applying for.

#5 The One Thing You Definitely Shouldn’t Include…

Don’t include a photo of yourself! We don’t need to go into the details as to why, just trust me on this… leave your photo for Instagram.

If you would like more guidance producing your CV, or an example template, please drop Matthew a call on 075344 69362 or email

Good luck!

Curriculum Vitae1 Lg

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