When you’re writing a CV it’s easy to forget that this document is the first chance a recruiter has to ‘meet’ YOU. Many applicants forget to make it personal and show who they are because they are so focused on what they do. You need to get a balance of both.
Here are some extracts of CVs that applicants have sent to us. We haven’t included their whole CV, we’ve just taken sections which you can learn from. Take a look at the comments (in red) our experts made to get help the applicant make improvements.
- Shona, 20 and from Glasgow, applying to EasyJet
- Joe, 27 from the Netherlands, applying to Monarch
- Mohammed was going to apply to Etihad
- Sophie from UK, was offered a job with British Airways
- Pippa, 24 from Wales
Nina from Brussels
- Sam, 25 from Singapore
Administrative assistant for XXX Clothing, Glasgow, August 2013-January 2015
– Managing, receiving and maintaining orders
– Answering the phone
– Packaging orders
– Maintaining the customer database
– Responding to customer emails
You focus on listing the tasks you did but you also need to describe how you personally tackled these things. It could be you or anyone else doing these tasks, it isn’t clear what makes your approach stand out. You could improve it like this; (remember, these are just our examples, you need to be truthful and make changes which reflect what you actually did):
Managing, receiving and maintaining orders in a systematic way. I kept a spreadsheet so I could track everything that came in and when deadlines were so I could ensure no orders were missed and respond to customer enquires quickly.
Answering the phone in a friendly and helpful manner. For instance, a customer was worried her item hadn’t arrived in time for her daughter’s birthday. I tracked the parcel while on the phone and was able to see it would arrive the next day. I explained that the package had missed the earlier post as it had not been processed on the same day she placed the order and apologized for this. After the call I checked with my manager who agreed I could send her a discount voucher for her next purchase as an apology for the late delivery.
Packaging orders neatly, checking all postal information was accurate and returns forms included.
Maintaining the customer database. I did updates last thing every day so staff using the system out of office hours would have the most up to date information.
Responding to customer emails on the same day as receiving them using a helpful and informative approach.
It’s the additional details which explain HOW you do things and give more insights into who you are and what you approach to work is.
You won’t have space to provide too many examples such as the one above about the late package delivery. However, it is worth including one or two as it does paint a much better picture of how you work than simply listing your job responsibilities.
I am a hard-working, dedicated and confident individual. As well as working on my own I am also able to work well within a team. I am well organized, proactive and a punctual individual. I am a friendly and reliable individual who is able to build and maintain good relationships with colleagues and customers at all levels. I like to travel to new places. I will always try the best of my ability and will be a skilled and motivated employee.
This profile is well written but it’s very generic. Anyone could write this sort of statement, and most people do! How can recruiters tell if any of this is true?
What would be much more impressive is if you could prove the things you say here by providing examples from your work experience and other skills which offer proof. Actions do speak louder than words, and a recruiter will find real life evidence of your approach and abilities much more compelling than simply listing them.
What evidence do you have that you are:
Hard-working and dedicated?
That you are able to build and maintain good relationships with colleagues and customers?
I- A full time job where I can improve and practice my knowledge and skills which will enhance and reflect to my professional skill and contribute to the company achievement and goals.
II- Successful element. Make sure you are clear what you mean, this is vague ie could be interpreted lots of different ways depending who is reading it.
III- More experiences. Like what? Your CV is your opportunity to show recruiters who you are and what you can do. You are missing your opportunity to do this if you aren’t specific in what you mean.
I- 4/2010 to 9/2012 Sony, Dubai
Recruiters are interested in whether your experience suggests that you might be a good candidate to become cabin crew. If you don’t provide any other detail about what you did and how you did it in your previous work it is impossible for them to assess this. Think about what makes good cabin crew and think about how you demonstrated these skills in your previous work. If you do this it makes it easier for the recruiters to choose you for interview etc.
II- 2010 Tapai TECH. Investment,Saudi Arabia
– Organized Project. So far I’m not getting any sense of who you are and how you do things, and neither will the airline recruiters. How has your work here made you a good candidate to become cabin crew? It can be really helpful to provide specific examples of what and how you did things. So for instance write a few lines to explain more about this project. Focus on HOW you did it- recruiters want to know about your choices, behaviors and motivation more than the technicalities of the project as this will tell them more about you as a person.
– SLA for operation and maintenance. Avoid acronyms in case recruiters don’t know what they are. You need to think about the audience you are writing for and make sure you meet their needs (in the same way you’ll need to think about passengers and their needs!)
– Maintain compliance to standard processes. There is a lot more you can do here to make the relevance obvious. Cabin crew need to comply to procedure for safety reasons so you could make much clearer links as to why the experience you have here would benefit an airline.
– Management reporting and participation in Management Meetings. What does this demonstrate about you? That you have good communication skills? If so, how can you prove this? Provide specific personal examples as actions speak louder than words and you need to prove who you are.
Keen to increase my skill set and interface with the public more, I took employment working as a waitress in a very busy local bar bistro. Serving food and beverages in a fast paced environment, I found I thrive on the pressure of dealing directly with customers, managing problems and exceeding the customers’ expectations. In this role I was also responsible for cash handling, maintaining a clean bar, tables and work areas, planning bar and restaurant menus and stock taking. Due to my personable manner I was comfortable with the task of verifying the age of patrons which minimises problems as a result of the sale of alcohol. On numerous occasions I was responsible for dealing with intoxicated patrons and remained calm and firm.
There is a good level of detail here and stands out from other CVs where just the job tasks are listed
Temp Receptionist placements through Reed Recruitment Agency (2014- Present)
Excellent inter-personal skills & client liaison; I have been asked back to every placement I have been on as the clients were so happy with my performance. Good evidence- this is worth more than simply saying it, you are also proving it
Receptionist- Waterloo Brasserie and Bar (August 2012-April 2013 )
This is your strongest employment example because of the way you have written it
This was a front of house role where I was responsible for managing bookings and enquiries for the restaurant and Bar. My role was to meet, greet & seat customers within the restaurant. This sets the scene nicely; it might be worth adding a short para to describe the role to each of your experiences above. It also improves consistency
– Maintaining a high level of customer service to ensure customers have a pleasant time
– Exceptional organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail; this was a very busy restaurant within the station and often customers had limited time to dine, I ensured they were always seated and served within the most suitable time frame and left having had a great experience. Good evidence of your character and approach
– Demonstrating my assertiveness and the ability to work under my own initiative; on many occasions I went beyond my job specification to ensure that the customer was satisfied, this once involved travelling to a local supermarket to obtain an ingredient that the kitchen had run out of for a customers with specific dietary requirements. Good. This jumps off the page more than statements which are unsupported.
– This role entailed being a strong team player; I had to keep up to date on bookings, events and functions to inform the restaurant team at the start of each shift and well as maintaining excellent communication throughout the shirt with my team members. Good
I demonstrated my physical and mental resilience while working within an extremely face paced and challenging environment by…(just another line would make it more compelling i.e. showing not just saying
Au Pair (06/2014)
Pick up the children after school. Take care and entertain the two children. Apply the family’s rules and keep the children safe.
What is special about how you do this? Much more detail is needed. Think about why an airline would want to employ you on the basis of this and think about what else you do in this role which would be transferable to the skills you would need as cabin crew. Other CVs are more in depth and would therefore stand out as more impressive than yours so far.
Local Council customer service assistant (10/2014- 2015)
Welcome and inform users of different types of service. Assist team staff to make calls, assist with forms and mailing
You need to explain more about what the job is, in what department and also explain how you do these tasks e.g. are you efficient? How can you show that? Do you communicate well? how do you show your skills and qualities?
School Restaurant Supervisor (08/2013-10/2014)
Ensure good functioning of the restaurant. Help and encourage pre-schoolers to eat well. Maintain order and make certain that the school rules are followed
More detail needed again to really show an employer what makes you a good candidate. List your specific tasks and how you do them. What is it that made you really a make a difference in this role, doing the job better than someone else would have done in your place?
2010 – 2014 Bachelor of Arts and French, University, Singapore
Did you do any extra activities while you were there? Were you involved in anything which may have given you skills which you could draw on now?
2008 – 2009 Exchange Student, Montpelier, France
Is there anything you learned from this experience which could be relevant? For example, how did you adapt to people with a very different background/ culture to your own? Did it give you insights into different nationalities which you could apply to a career as cabin crew? Try to think about your experiences and what you gained from them, tying this is to what you think would be of benefit to an airline.
2013 – Co-Camp Director at children’s summer camp What did you do/ learn/ what skills did you show? Who relied on you? How did you help? What were you responsible for (was any of it relevant to cabin crew e.g. did you ensure safety, wellbeing, customer care?)
2010 – 2013 – Summer Volunteer Staff at Camp for foreign students, Singapore
You can make much more of this section, explaining what you did, how you did them, who you helped, what your prioritized, what you did that was outstanding, what factors you considered.
Your CV is an opportunity to show your skills, talents and personality. If you just list what you have done with no extra detail you aren’t given a true reflection of how suitable you would be for the cabin crew role. You won’t have space to include all of my suggestions but try to add more details in so your CV is 2 full pages. This CV is ok as it is, it’s well-presented, you write well and have good attention to detail. Your CV proves that you can use English very well. You seem to have plenty of experiences which you could detail further to make the most of what you can do and who you are, so try to use them as best you can!
Not sure you are writing your CV correctly?
Send it to us and we will:
- Check it thoroughly
- Give you feedback on your skills and experience
- Explain how to improve how you have written your application