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Roberta Basarbolieva's
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  • Writer's pictureRoberta Basarbolieva

The Craft of Writing CVs

This is a guest post from our resident recruitment/talent acquisition expert, Antoaneta Basarbolieva. Antoaneta has spent over a decade as an international recruiter, and has seen both sides of the process in industries ranging from pharmaceutics to finance to corporate service to iGaming.

She loves providing others with her expertise, and over the years she has delivered career development workshops and collaborated with the Malta Pharmaceutical Students Association, Junior Chamber International Malta and Malta Institute of Management.

Your CV is your marketing brochure – it is the tool that sells you. It shows the company what is in it for them. It is also the first time they meet you, and the last if you don’t sell yourself well.

The structure and content of your CV need to be focused on selling you to the right buyer.

The first things to consider when beginning your CV are:

- What is the reader looking for?

- How much time will they have?

Recruiters, whether in-house or outsourced, are responsible for the whole process of hiring, from compiling the job description to interviewing the candidate, usually at least twice, sometimes as many as seven or eight times for complex technical or C-level positions.

Recruiters also normally work simultaneously on a number of positions. This means that if you don’t present strongly at the CV stage, you will not get a second look.

Here is my list of dos and don’ts for crafting your CV:


  • Keep it relevant to the position you are applying for.

  • Keep it easy to read.

  • Keep it short: 1-2 pages is all the recruiter will pay attention to (unless it is for academia)

  • Grab the reader’s attention immediately. On average, recruiters give six seconds to a CV. SIX. If in those six seconds your CV has not locked them in, they move on to the next applicant.

  • Personalize. Show what makes you different from other applicants by showcasing your achievements, not just your duties.

  • Use active verbs, such as managed, designed, formulated, created, developed, convinced, introduced, coordinated, produced, launched, oversaw, amplified, streamlined, consolidate, initiated, expanded, boosted, generated, improved, sustained, furthered, overhauled, strengthened, revitalised.

  • Always attach a customized cover letter giving the reader a compelling reason to shortlist you for an interview.


  • Don’t lie.

  • Don’t include unnecessary information like your date of birth or a photo, unless it is directly relevant to the position you are applying for.

  • Don’t use fancy graphics, unless applying for an art/graphics-related position.

  • Don’t include clichés. Everybody is a reliable team player able to work to tight deadlines nowadays. Show who you are through measurable achievements.

Still not sure how to craft the right CV for you? Let’s have a chat.

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