Looking for advice on writing a travel CV?

No one loves writing a CV. But, unfortunately, it’s one of the most important documents you will ever need. We know that it can be stressful, which is why we’ve teamed up with Matt Cheevers at Jaylewla. Matt’s company offers career advice, CV-writing assistance, management consultancy and training. Matt’s travel career means he’s well placed to offer specialist advice on writing a travel CV, too.

Matt spent 20 years working in the travel industry, latterly at Managing Director level. But a couple of years ago, he felt he needed a change. He started by volunteering with a local company who support unemployed people and help them search for a new job. It was this experience that led him to set up Jaylewla.

He says, ‘I got asked to meet with a friend of a friend who had found themselves out of work and was struggling to make progress. I realised there was a huge number of people out there who do not claim benefits but still need support getting back to what they love.’


Mat Cheevers logo jaylewla
Jaylewla offers a free CV test

Now, Matt divides his time between helping small businesses and running training courses for unemployed people to help them back into work, as well as helping people write a CV that will have an impact. He says, ‘I still work with unemployed people in local job centres. I run workshops for people from the age of 18 to 60 and teach them to change and move forward. Most of these people have great skills and have just simply lost their way and need a confidence boost.’ Matt gives people a plan for writing a CV, plus advice about how to job search and perform well in an interview. He says, ‘It’s so rewarding when I hear people have found a new role.’

Matt still works with travel companies, too, offering advice on growth and development. He says, ‘It’s a great industry and I could never leave it fully.’ Matt is offering Progressive Travel Recruitment candidates a free CV Test, with feedback. Find the links at the bottom of the blog.

He says, ‘I believe I have a unique skillset as I have been unemployed, an employer of people, and also train people every day to reach their potential and find a new job.’

We asked Matt at Jaylewla to name common mistakes people make when writing a travel CV

1 Clichés
Unfortunately, the biggest problem I see is cliché-ridden CVs. How many times do you think an employer wants to read, I can work well in a team and also on my own? (Answer: never.) You need to make an impact with your CV straight away.

2 No profile
I’d always advise starting your travel CV with a punchy informative profile of yourself. Put a short profile section and your key skills first – they’re the most important elements. Be brave and just don’t roll out tired old clichés when writing a travel CV.

3 Buzz words
I see many CVs that are just a series of buzz words that don’t have an impact. For me your CV needs to reflect you and why you are different.  It needs to be a pacey sales document that makes use of the 10 seconds that an employer is likely to spend reading it.

4 Figures
Add figures to back up your achievements. Travel is an industry focused on KPIs and not enough people add relevant numbers when writing their travel CV.

5 Unclear
The reader must be able to know quickly who you are and what you can bring to the role. We need to stop copping out with generic phrases that don’t mean anything. Show specifically, don’t just vaguely tell the reader what you can do.

6 Customer focus
Travel jobs are all about customer experience – not enough travel CVs show evidence of going above and beyond for customers.

7. Innovation
More and more travel companies are looking for innovation and most candidates don’t include anything on this when writing their travel CVs.

8 Difference
Show the reader why you’re different – be specific about why you have certain skills and talents. Some people think being unique involves writing a CV that’s very fancy, or making a video CV. I would say video CVs do work in some areas. I used to see them when I took on interns a few years ago. They can give you a sense of the person and their personality. However, I don’t think most markets are ready for video CVs to become mainstream – it takes longer to view them, for one thing. And for another, it could also take us back to the bad old days of discrimination based on appearance or age. I also see that many people find it difficult enough to sell themselves on paper, let alone on video. My advice is stick to a simple formula but do it well.

If you’d like Matt’s help when writing your CV, click here to take his CV test. Once people have taken Matt’s CV test, he provides feedback and can help them to improve it if they want further assistance.

Think you’ve already got what it takes and want a new travel job – click here to browse our latest travel jobs.