Your CV is the first thing your potential new employer will see of you and therefore it needs to make a really good impression. Time to update your CV! We previously shared CV writing tips and you can also download our free CV template

In this post, we want to take a closer look at the finer details, rather than the layout and what to include.

Filling in the gaps

You could take this quite literally and check whether there might be any gaps in your employment dates that have been going unaccounted for. Update your CV by filling these in and giving reasons for why they are there. 

Other gaps to look out for might be knowledge gaps – anything you could do with having more of a competitive edge on. Maybe there are aspects of your skillset you have been a little hazy on for a while. Now is the time to upskill!

Your LinkedIn profile can act as your CV

Update your CV on LinkedIn. Most recruiters nowadays use LinkedIn when posting jobs and looking for candidates. Therefore, it’s good practice to pay as much attention to your profile on the platform as you do to your actual CV.

Make sure that the information you include on your profile matches up.


It might be a good time now to contact people and ask them for character references, ready for when you need them next. 

And taking another look at LinkedIn – there is the option to ask anyone you have worked with; whether it might be colleagues, managers, clients, the list goes on; for recommendations which are then shown at the bottom of your profile. This is another great way of giving recruiters looking at your page an idea of the kind of person you are. 

Less is more

Lastly, try to keep your CV to 2 pages where possible. You could achieve this by giving a little less detail on jobs that are further in the past or might not be relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Competition is rife; the current job market is flooded with candidates who could stand in your way to securing that perfect next career move, so how do you make sure you come out on top?

We’re taking a look at the tips and insight that Andy Ridout, Group MD of Advance TRS, previously provided:

Get your CV in shape

Over the course of my career, I have read hundreds of thousands of CVs and can safely say that employers have too, this is why it is so important to present yours correctly. You might find our CV writing tips useful to help you update it. We also have a CV template available for download.


We are looking for CVs that reflect professionalism and to achieve this, presentation is key. A good CV should begin by listing your educational attainment, followed by your most recent, relevant jobs with dates of employment. Underneath each job include a short summary of the responsibilities and duties you were given whilst in the role, highlighting your achievements, strengths and expressing your ambitions.

Make your summaries to the point and relevant, this will ensure we can quickly access your best features and match you to a role as fast as possible.
It can be very easy to get carried away with fancy fonts and italics but in my experience, this rarely looks professional. I would strongly recommend that text is kept to a standard size (10/11) and a professional and clear looking font (Calibri is a favourite of mine).

Read the job description

Unfortunately, all too often we receive CVs from candidates who have not read the job description correctly; an absolute pet peeve for employers. So, before you apply, please make sure you have all the necessary qualifications and experience; if you don’t we will not send your CV to our client.

Make your CV role-specific

Once you have established that you meet the role’s requirements make sure you tailor your CV accordingly. It can be tempting to try to cut corners with a generic ‘one size fits all’ CV but unlikely you’ll display your abilities to their full capacity or get the intended response. Do your research; know the company and re-word your CV to demonstrate that you are the right person for the job.

Go Niche

I have made a successful recruitment career from understanding the specifics and technicalities of the Rail Industry. At Advance TRS, we deal with jobs in 4 different sectors, making us specialist recruiters in Rail, Property, Construction and Water. This allows us to be the first point of call for candidates who require a recruitment team who understands industry jargon and has solid relationships with the top employers in their field.

The interview

Once Advance TRS have secured you an interview we will do everything we can to help you through the process. Interviewers are looking for people who will fit in with the company’s current employees as well as the professional image and reputation they wish to portray. It is essential that your clothes, body language and conduct reflect this since first impressions definitely last.

It is a good idea to stage the interview with a friend or family member the night before. This will give you the opportunity to practice being put on the spot and allow you to prepare your answers to any tricky questions, undoubtedly boosting your confidence during the actual scenario.

Remember, the service we provide you with is free, we don’t get paid unless we find you a job so, if you suit our client’s requirements we will do our best to help you secure your dream job.

For your next career move get in touch with a member of the team at Advance TRS on 01483 361 061.

Our Water and Infrastructure Director, Rob Kelly, visited the University of Southampton at the beginning of the month to deliver a workshop for the students.

The aim was to help students by giving advice on the essentials needed to land a job after they graduate. Covering CVs and Interview tips, Rob went into detail about:

  • CV format
  • CV content
  • Tailoring techniques
  • Personal profiles
  • Interview preparation
  • Organisation research
  • Killer questions
  • Interview approach
  • STAR technique.

The STAR technique is designed to guide you through competency-based interview questions, often questions starting with ‘Tell me about a time you did X’.

S – Situation T – Task A – Approach R – Result

Competency questions are generally used to find out how candidates would react to certain situations, by asking for real-world examples to back-up their claims.

Don’t let their open-ended nature fool you. There is a formula you can apply to keep your answers on track, which is where STAR comes in. Click here to read the full details and examples with how this technique can help you.

If you are looking for some help with writing your CV or would like tips about what you can do to prepare for an upcoming interview, our Advance Advice page is where you need to go next! We have lots of articles here to help and these have come from top, experienced recruiters who know recruitment processes like the back of their hand.

Click here to read more interview tips.

Click here to view our CV tips and Click here to download our FREE CV template

A personal statement is usually the opening paragraph on your CV. It should be a short summary about you, to help employers see how you view yourself as a person and as an employee.

We’ve put together three simple tips for writing your personal statement:

How long should it be?

Your personal statement should be one paragraph, aiming for a minimum of 5 lines up to a maximum of 12 lines on a word document. If you’re looking for a word count, aim for up to 150 words.

If it’s too long, you risk repeating yourself and rambling too much!

If it’s too short, you’re not selling yourself enough!

What should it include?

You need to think about three key questions:

    • Who are you and what do you currently do?
    • What are your career goals?
    • What can you offer to your next employer, that could make you stand out above the rest?

Can I keep the same one for every job I apply for?

All job requirements are different. If you have the time, it would be beneficial to adapt your personal statement each time you apply for a job, so you can make it as relevant as possible to the role you are applying for. Make sure you do your research on the specific requirements the employer is asking for, both for the job and personal skills.

Remember, your personal statement gives you a chance to sell yourself in one paragraph. The rest of your CV is your work experience and your qualifications, so this gives you the opportunity to add that personal touch.

Here’s an example we’ve put together:

“As an experienced project manager, I have a proactive approach which has resulted in numerous successful completions of important projects across the rail industry. I am now coming to the end of my current project and am seeking a new challenge. I am a reliable and well-organised manager, bringing various expertise and knowledge to the table. I have extensive experience across the board and my attention to detail and communication skills is what makes me stand out from the rest.


Make sure you ask someone to read through this for you to pick up any spelling or grammatical errors! You can’t always see these when you are writing yourself.

Not sure where to start with writing a CV or not fully happy with your one? Want to see an example to compare to yours to?

We have created a CV template that you can download to either fill straight in or just to use as a reference.


Your CV needs to:

  • Look smart
  • Be readable
  • Have clear and concise information

Try and keep your CV down to two pages wherever possible. When going through CVs, most recruiters or employers will look at the last three jobs that you’ve had. If you’ve worked in a number of jobs or on a number of projects, try including the summary of your duties in just your last three jobs and then list all other jobs with just the company, job title and the dates you were there. You can elaborate on any of your older jobs in an interview.

Register on our website to get access to free CV template downloads, and other helpful resources. 

Take a look at our Advance Advice for more help with CVs, interview preparation, and all things relating to your job search!