By Debbie Holden 05 Oct 2017 5 min read

How to write a standout CV for automotive jobs


If you’re applying for a new automotive job, a great CV is the key to impressing recruiters and securing an interview. Spelling mistakes and a confusing layout are sure to put them off straight away. Here are some tips on how to put together a standout CV.

Writing a successful CV can seem to be a daunting task but there are some simple tips to follow which can make it much easier. Your goal is to tailor each CV you send out to the job and company you’re applying for so you showcase the relevant skills and experience. If you have lots of experience, you only need to include the most relevant – you don’t want to produce pages and pages that recruiters will have to hunt through to find what they’re looking for. On the other hand, those looking for first jobs or graduate jobs shouldn’t worry about not having enough experience. A good interests and achievements section on your CV can be tailored to demonstrate what you’re capable of, what kind of work you’d be good at, and your interest in the automotive industry.


The basics

Your CV should include some basic but vital information about you so that recruiters know who you are and how they can get in touch with you. Make sure you include:

  • Your full name and address
  • An email address that you check regularly
  • A phone number
  • If you have one (and it’s relevant), a link to your website or blog.


Do your research

If you spend some time doing some time doing some research into the company you are applying to, you will gain some insights that other applicants might not have. You should be able to find out online what sort of company culture they have, especially if they are a big company. This should give you a clue as to what kind of people they employ. Do they have any advertising campaigns which can give you an idea of what the company does? Do they post regularly on social media? Does their website or LinkedIn page give you any clues about the direction the company is taking? If you can align your experience and interests with the values and goals of the company, you may have the edge over other applicants.

Having this basic understanding of the company and what their aspirations are will help if you get to the interview stage.

Remember to pay close attention to the job description. This will be full of clues about what the recruiters are looking for, especially in terms of skills and experience. Make sure your CV and covering letter are tailored as closely as you can to the job description. If it says the job requires a team player, make sure you’ve included experience you’ve had as part of a team.

Will the job require management skills, communication skills, or experience using a particular piece of software? Include examples of all of these – it will definitely pay off to include as many examples of the skills they are looking for as you can.

Be creative. If you can’t immediately think of how you’ve demonstrated a certain skill, perhaps you’ve had a summer job or hobby in the past that you can use.


Include your experience, skills and interests

Experience: This is usually the most prominent section on a CV and it’s worth spending some time making sure you have identified the most relevant experience you have for the job. This section is normally laid out in reverse chronological order with most recent experience at the top.

You may have one particular job or work experience that you really want to highlight. You could create a new section titled ‘engineering experience’, or ‘vehicle sales experience’ and put this first. Your remaining experience can then be put under ‘further experience’.

Use assertive and positive language that mirrors what was used in the job description. This will often include words like ‘organised’, ‘achieved’, or ‘developed’. For example, ‘developed a new system for customer relationship management’, ‘improved sales by 20% in a 12 month period.


Skills: Recruiters don’t want to hunt through your CV for relevant experience. Really spell out the valuable skills you have gained from previous jobs. Even if it was just working in a cafe, you may have demonstrated customer service skills, the ability to work in a team, and money handling skills.

Remember that skills can be developed outside of the workplace. Think about what you’ve learned from experiences like playing for a sports team or helping organise a charity event. Do you speak any other languages?


Interests: A section on your CV which includes a diverse range of interests can help you seem interesting and personable. Try and highlight interests that have helped you develop the skills that the recruiter is looking for. Describe any situation where you’ve had to take on a position of responsibility, demonstrate teamwork, or take the initiative.

Try not to highlight ‘passive interests’, especially if the job will require working with people. These include things like watching TV or playing computer games.



Only include references on your CV if you’ve been asked to by the job description. Avoid the classic line ‘References available on request’. This is unnecessary and takes up valuable room on your CV.


How to format your CV

Making your CV easy to read and look professional is essential. You should aim for one or two pages. If it’s any longer than that, make sure you haven’t included anything irrelevant to the role and making the detail more concise. The upper-middle area of the first page is known as the ‘CV hotspot’. This is where the eye naturally falls so think about including your most important piece of experience or some ‘key attributes’ here.

Don’t try and cram too many works on the page. Bullet points will make the information easier to read and digest. Sans-serif fonts such as Helvetica or Arial are usually best. Make headings clear and bold and avoid underlining or too many confusing subheadings.

If you are sending a CV via email directly to the recruiter, you should usually send the document as a PDF, unless otherwise specified.


Our final piece of advice is to ask someone to proofread your CV. Remember that spellcheck won’t always pick up every error. Your CV will usually be accompanied by a cover letter, so make sure you get that proofread too.

If you follow these tips, your finished CV should let the recruiter know that you are a great match for the job. Good luck!


Don’t forget to upload your finished CV to InAutomotive and sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any new opportunities.

Need more advice? Our CV Guide has plenty of tips and advice to get you started. Download it below now:


Not working