Anyone who has ever read a newspaper or feature would no doubt have heard the term ‘hook’, it’s something all journalists consider right at the planning stage and is equally relevant when trying to pitch your CV to recruiters and potential employers. So what exactly does it mean and what are the other key components that recruiters are looking for? Here are our top tips:



Put quite simply, a good hook does exactly what it says on the tin: it draws in the reader right off the bat by answering the questions why and what makes you relevant and a good fit for the job. With so many highly qualified candidates jostling for the same position, it is crucial to tailor a crisp, punchy and relevant hook to get the readers attention, and you often have only a few seconds to ensure your chances of progressing to the shortlist.


Custom Fit

There is no one size fits all when it comes to CVs, and quite often it is true that looking for a job is a full time job in itself! You will need to tailor your CV specifically to each role that you apply for and the closer you can match titles and responsibilities, the more you enhance your chances.



This tip flows nicely on from the one above – the first thing recruiters will do is to look for position relevant experience. It is crucial to make sure that yours is consistent and in accordance with the role you are applying for. To give you an additional tip, remember to clearly indicate if you added further value above and beyond, mentioning clearly exactly what you did and any particular contribution to stand out projects.



It is key to include all the job specific skills that you have, especially in the context of previous roles, to be able to align your experience and skill set. The objective is to show that you are the best candidate and ultimately the best ‘fit’ for the job.



Numbers are a great way to reinforce your results and achievements. If you can quantify results and achievements as figures or percentages, it will help you stand out and, for example, in sales roles it really could make or break.



If the job spec requires specific qualifications as required or desirable, don’t forget to highlight these.



We can’t stress enough how important this one is:

  • Have a clear and consistent layout with only one font throughout.
  • Present in reverse chronological order, with no unexplained time gaps.
  • Avoid jargon; this is very important, the person reading your CV may not be an industry or technical expert.


You may have all the experience and skills that the role demands, however, to make sure that you are well and truly in the running for that job, as well as to ensure that you clear the very first hurdle, clearly and concisely document your achievements on your CV.


City CV’s professional CV writing service is tailored to your exacting needs and sector and can target a specific role. Led by award-winning recruitment industry veteran, Victoria McLean, our team of professional CV writers and coaches can help you gain that extra edge to help you reach your career objectives. Don’t just take our word for it, read some of our success stories and equip yourself with the tools and support to navigate the complex recruitment market. Call us on +44 20 7100 6656 or email enquiries@citycv.com for more information on our CV writing, interview coaching or LinkedIn profile writing services.