30 Oct 2023

Candidates, we are here to help! With hiring down 55% compared to this time last year, here at Stopgap Recruitment we truly understand how difficult the market is right now, and the importance of standing out from the crowd to ensure career success!


With this in mind, I’ll be bringing a series of articles focused solely on the Candidate Journey, with the view of helping you to land your dream role as seamlessly as possible! ????


This week’s topic… CRAFTING A KILLER CV! I give CV advice daily, and having seen the different shapes and sizes these come in, I've quickly realised the obvious things to include, aren't so obvious...


1.    The Elevator Pitch: Be Brief, Be BOLD

Your CV should begin with a powerful summary that captures your essence as a marketing and advertising professional. Highlight your expertise, key accomplishments, and the value you bring to the table! Keep it concise, engaging, and tailored to the specific role you're applying for ????


2.     Tailor Your CV for Each Application:

Ah, the question that comes up time and time again. With Cover Letter’s taking a backseat, a one size CV does not fit all when it comes to making job applications. Tailor your document for each application by emphasizing the skills and experiences most relevant to the specific role. In many cases, these will be small tweaks to hone in on your experience most relevant to the JD and by doing this, it shows that you've taken the time to understand the company's needs and that you possess the right qualifications and experience.


3.     Showcase Quantifiable Achievements:

Numbers, numbers, numbers! Be specific about your achievements in previous roles. Quantify your impact by including metrics, percentages, or numerical figures. For instance, mention how you successfully increased campaign engagement by a certain percentage or how you managed a project that resulted in a notable revenue boost. This helps potential employers visualize your contributions.


4.     Demonstrate Adaptability and Innovation: Marketing and advertising are ever-evolving fields, and employers value professionals who can adapt to change and bring innovative ideas to the table. Showcase instances where you've adapted to industry trends or implemented creative solutions to overcome challenges. This demonstrates your proactive approach to your work.


5.     Incorporate Industry Keywords and Mirror Language: Here at Stopgap, each CV is looked over by the relevant consultant in order to decide if they are a good match for the role. This isn’t always the case though and lot’s of companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter through CVs. To ensure your CV passes through these systems and reaches human eyes, incorporate relevant industry keywords. Use the language and terminology commonly found in job descriptions for roles in marketing and advertising agencies and DON’T use graphs/tables or images to showcase any key content, as the systems may not pick this format up!


6.     Emphasise Communication Skills: Effective communication is a cornerstone of success in marketing and advertising roles. Highlight your communication skills throughout your CV, showcasing instances where you've effectively communicated with clients but with internal teams too. Particularly in agencies, collaboration across departments is a given, so emphasise your ability to work seamlessly within a team to achieve common goals.


7.     Address Employment Gap: If you have employment gaps, address them positively in your CV. With the events of the last few years and many still suffering the aftermath of Covid and the Cost-of-Living Crisis, employment gaps have become increasingly common.


8.     Optimise the Formatting: A well-formatted CV is not only visually appealing but also easier for recruiters to navigate. Use a clean and professional layout, organise information logically and maintain consistency in formatting. Use bullet points for easy readability and avoid large chunks of text or tables. The CV should ideally be 1-2 pages and certainly no longer than 3 and the format should look something like this:


  • Name and contact details. Note: You do not need to add a specific address but DO add a location, e.g. Richmond, London.
  • Personal Profile/Summary
  • Tools/platforms
  • Employment history. IMPORTANT - You do not want this to read like a job description (read that again). Instead, think about what you did, how you did it and what you achieved. Make sure to include a summary of who the company are, and also explain reasons for leaving.
  • Education
  • Any volunteering/extra-curricular or personal interests
  • Testimonials – if you have any brief snapshots to use, add them here!


In the competitive landscape of the market right now, a thoughtfully crafted CV is your ticket to success. By implementing these top tips, you can create a compelling CV that not only showcases your expertise but also resonates with employers looking for top talent in the industry. Remember, your CV is a reflection of your professional journey, so make every word count and most importantly, have fun with it!

  • Career & Job Search
  • Flexible Working
  • Marketing News
  • Recruitment and HR
  • Women in Business
  • Workplace Wellness
  • Freelancing
  • Marketing & Digital
  • Creative
  • Agency World
  • B2B Marketing
  • Research & Insight
  • Stopgap News
  • Marketing Digest
  • Case Studies


If you are an employer looking to build your marketing and digital team, or perhaps you are just hiring your first marketer, we can help. We offer a range of services, from freelance to permanent placements and executive search.

find out more brief us now

of expertise

If you're at the top of your game, our tailored executive service is for you. We have a consultant in each of our sector teams who is dedicated to recruiting the most senior marketing and digital professionals.

find out more