How to Write a Great Job Description for Your CV

Including the right job description in your CV and cover letter will help make your job application eye-catching. Here’s some key features hiring managers look for.



How To Write Eye-catching CV Job Descriptions

When you write your CV, well-crafted job descriptions are a crucial part of the work experience section, and therefore highly important to any job application. If you know how to describe your previous roles in a way that shows potential employers what relevant experience and skills you have, you will stand out from other job seekers. This article will explain what a job description is, why it matters, and how to write one in a way that really showcases your work history, achievements and certifications. 

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What Is a CV Job Description?

A CV job description section, or work history section, is the part of your CV that details your work for previous employers. This section should be a series of role descriptions, complete with employment dates, presented in reverse-chronological order, with the current or most recent experience first. For experienced job seekers, this section is one of the most important parts of any job application because it shows hiring managers that they have the experience and skills needed. Well-written job descriptions should give recruiters all of the basic information that they need to make a decision about the application that they are reading.

Why CV Job Descriptions Are Important

Whether you are job hunting for a project management role or an administrative assistant job, the job descriptions you include in your professional resume are of the utmost interest to prospective employers. As well as telling hiring managers what they need to know about your work history and skill set, your CV job descriptions can act as proof of your interpersonal skills and ability to communicate.

Just as important, however, is the way that CV job descriptions impact the applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many hiring teams now use. These ATS systems assess and filter job applications by scanning for keywords. These keywords can be skills, accomplishments, job titles or even specific action words (e.g. “managed,” “led,” or “created”). If your CV doesn’t contain the right keywords, your job search could be long and frustrating. The job description you provide in your CV offers the perfect opportunity to hit specific keywords.

How To Write a Great Job Description for Your CV

When you start a new job search, you should adjust your CV to suit each job posting that you apply for. Customizing your CV job descriptions to highlight the specific facets which are most relevant to an application will make it easier to pass through ATS and catch a hiring manager’s attention. When you write job descriptions for your previous roles, you should include the following information:

  • Dates of employment
  • Job title
  • Company name
  • Description of role, duties, and key experiences

You should present each job description in reverse-chronological order and provide a few sentences that illustrate your key hard and soft skills, as well as any notable achievements during your years of experience. When you start to write an individual job description, there are four key tips you should keep in mind:

1. Be confident

It can be tempting to be humble when you write your CV, but this is exactly what you should not do. While you should be honest, you should also be positive and upfront. Focus on your strengths to make a good case for why you should be hired.

2. Use specific metrics

When you discuss your achievements, be as specific as possible and use metrics like percentages where you can. For example, say “Improved sales in 2021 by 15%” rather than “I increased sales in 2021.”

3. Use action verbs

If you want to really stand out from the crowd, use active language to take ownership of your experiences and key achievements. Rather than using passive language like “I was responsible for” or “I was tasked with,” say “Created a system,” “Managed a team,” or “Developed a method.”

4. Be concise

Remember to keep your job descriptions concise. Your CV should be no more than two pages long. Recruiters will be able to ask questions at a job interview.

FAQ: CV Job Descriptions

Q: How can I write a great CV?

The best CV is one that meets the needs of the job posting that you intend to apply for. Recruiters look at a number of factors including CV design, grammar and spelling, skills and relevant work experience. To write a great CV, you should read the job posting carefully and do your best to include the skills and qualifications listed as necessary. 

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter in every job application?

Yes, you should include a personalised cover letter with every job application if you want to stand out and catch the hiring manager’s eye. The only exception to this rule is in cases where the job advert specifically states that a cover letter is not needed. 

Q: Will hiring managers ask my references about previous job descriptions?

If you make it to the later stages of the hiring process, recruiters may ask you for your CV references. When they call your referees they may ask them to confirm the details of your job title, employment term and your duties as well as the details of any awards you have earned. This is why it is best to be honest in your CV. 


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