Hays’ Karen Young shares her top tips for writing the perfect CV and addresses some frequently asked questions.

I ran a LinkedIn Live event earlier this year to share my top tips on successfully creating or updating your CV or résumé. I received many great questions during the event, so I wanted to share the answers to some of the most commonly asked ones.

What’s the difference between my CV and my LinkedIn profile?

Your CV is still the main means of applying for roles and should serve the purpose of giving the recruiter a factual and chronological snapshot of your skills and experience in order to get you an interview. What’s more, the recruiter will need to know why you are both interested in and suitable for this job specifically, and will need something a little more tailored than your generic LinkedIn profile.

Thanks to the visual, flexible and interactive nature of LinkedIn, you have the opportunity here to bring all of your skills and experience to life and tell the recruiter more of a story about who you are and what you are looking for. You can add videos, blogs and also different projects you are working on, which you can’t easily do on your CV.

In addition, a strong LinkedIn profile can increase your chances of being approached by a recruiter first. Recruiters are using advanced data analytics tools to both find and engage with suitable passive and active jobseekers. An up-to-date profile and frequent online activity can certainly get you noticed by the right people. That is, if you make the best use of this platform.

CVs are still your most important personal sales tool when it comes to getting a job, but this should be complemented by a strong, professional and active LinkedIn profile – one which brings all the claims you have on your CV to life and showcases everything you have to offer as a person and as a professional.

How should I tackle any gaps I have in the employment history part of my CV?

Most people have some sort of gap on their CV, whether that’s due to redundancy, caring, travelling or education.

It’s just important you acknowledge and account for any gaps on your CV – there’s no need to conceal the reality of the situation. So, add the dates and a short explanation to the ‘employment history’ section of your CV.

You don’t need to go into specifics or reasons for the gap. What’s important is that you explain how you’ve been using your time proactively and productively. In the case of redundancy, that might be via upskilling, volunteering or working on your personal development, for example. This could also be an area you cover briefly in the personal statement section of your CV.

How do I write a strong CV if I don’t have much experience?

This is an extremely common challenge, particularly when it comes to plotting out the employment history section of your CV. In this case, I would advise that you include all your experience, even if it’s not relevant to the role you are applying for, for instance volunteer work or a part-time job you had while studying. Including these roles will demonstrate your work ethic, transferable skills and employability.