5 reviews
16:04 13 Mar 23
Highly recommended! Josh and Sarah have been fantastic at Astute. They've found and placed me in 2 jobs now between them, both really responsive and excellent at keeping you up to speed with things. Very knowledgable about the roles and happy to talk to companies with any queries you have.
C R.C R.
10:45 27 Jan 23
Great agency one of the best ones I've worked with! Liz has been a great help and support in helping me towards a new direction in my career life. She is very attentive and keeps me in the loop at all times! She makes the extra effort to work with my preferred requirements for work and even if it isn't completely attainable she meets me in the middle and does as much as she can to help! Also Liz is very funny might I add 😂 and I'm happy that I can now put a face to the name after all these years! Thank you again Liz for all your help and support! 😊
10:32 20 Dec 22
Josh and the Astute team was very swift to help me to find roles that matched my profile. They are really reliable and will help through every step of the recruitment process going out of their way to assist and follow up when needed. Could not find a better recruitment agency!
Helen PinegarHelen Pinegar
16:19 18 Dec 22
Fantastic recruitment agency.. Josh was extremely enthusiastic, encouraging and clearly knowledgeable about what was needed from both the employee and the employers point of view. Extremely supportive especially in regards to interview preparation and endeavoured to procure feedback promptly. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Astute in the future to both candidates and recruiting businesses particularly for the right fit for the role!!!
Lisa LeighLisa Leigh
11:56 30 Nov 22
I have worked as a candidate for Astute and they have been excellent. Super friendly service and professional agents keen to fit the right person to the right job. It has been a pleasure dealing with them and I would happily work for them again in the future. Highly recommend this agency.
Contact us
Suite 1, Ground Floor West,Cardinal Square,10 Nottingham Road,Derby. DE1 3QT
Stanford House,19 Castle Gate, Nottingham, NG1 7AQ



Astute Recruitment's Top CV Tips To Make YOUR CV Stand Out
Astute Recruitment’s Top CV Tips To Make YOUR CV Stand Out













Here are some of the latest top tips and suggestions to help ensure your CV is destined to help steer you to the job of your dreams.



1/ Highlight your affinity with technology.

Nearly all jobs now require some interface with IT, especially jobs in accountancy, where there are myriad CRMs, ERPs and other systems which need to have their data migrated to Excel to produce the best financial reporting and analysis. One of the Big 4 firms recently stated that nearly 80% of CEO’s regard abilities around AI to be THE number one asset of a business.


2/ Showcase your SOFT SKILLS. Nearly 60% of senior leaders state soft skills as being more important than ‘hard skills’.

Examples of soft skills: –


  • Ability to adapt i.e. How can you embrace change?
    • Think of examples where you have successfully adapted to change and include these on your CV.


  • Your ability to be creative in thought & deed.
    • AI is only as good as the programming it has been given. It cannot ‘think ahead’. People can. The ideas of tomorrow are what the bosses of today need from their teams and employees. Highlight how you are an ‘ideas’ person and how your creativity has: –

“made positive changes in your work/ or for your team/ or in your business to the company’s performance”


  • Talking for Success – Ability to communicate;
    • Employers now need employees who can collaborate better, build stronger relationships, motivate more effectively to ultimately drive increased productivity and performance. SO, in your CV you need to showcase your verbal dexterity across negotiation, collaboration, and presentation. Just don’t forget to listen!
    • Don’t forget to include your latest Skills Learned! In your second job, you may have mastered world-class skills in the IT package of the day, but the employee of tomorrow needs their CV to show an affinity with the current and emerging technologies and software. Always showcase new skills learned over the last couple of years or even in the last few months! These new skills may be the very ones that make you stand out from the crowd and secure an interview.!


So, now you have an idea of the content for your CV – you now need to hotwire it with the ‘keywords’ that many search firms program their algorithms to pick out. Yep – your CV won’t be picked out by a human being – more likely,  if you are applying to one of the larger, national and international recruitment agencies – your CV will need to stand out in a sea of applicants screened by non-human eyes.

Increasingly, even smaller search and recruitment agencies are turning to algorithms to ‘sift’ through CVs. However, at Astute Recruitment, we offer the human touch and always will, to pick up the nuances of individuals. But this point in general about larger recruitment agencies is key.


How can you ‘proof’ your CV and application to overcome these algorithms?


1/ Keywords all the way!

Not just any keywords, but the ones that are specific for the targeted jobs that you are applying for. So, if you are an accountant, make sure you include keywords relevant. So for example, if you are looking for a role as a financial accountant – keywords like Balance Sheet, Consolidations, Audit, Group Accounts may well be worth you including in your skillset! Equally, if you are a Management Accountant, keywords including Variance Analysis, Profit & Loss, Cost Centres, Cost of Sales, Gross Margin Reporting, Stakeholder Engagement may be wise to include!


2/ Softskills

Again think about the soft skills that your potential boss will be looking for… “Communication” “within budget and “deadlines”. Now for the big tip. Most people include the former – but don’t qualify what they mean. i.e. “OK – you completed X, Y, Z but how much did you bring this in less than budget?” or  “How much faster did you achieve your project than the original deadline? 10% faster? 30% faster?” Define your achievements with definite numbers and percentages. Make your achievements quantifiable. Show how they are continuous and year on year rather than just something achieved several years ago in a role since which you have received several promotions.


3/ Check your profile is good on social media. (Hint: This doesn’t mean having a great photo of you at the trendiest wine bar on Instagram (unless you are going for a bar job! 😊)

Instead – LinkedIn is now one of THE main online spaces for any professional employee to showcase their skills. Use the summary field, for short, succinct snippets to showcase your key attributes in work. And to do this – again use our new friends, ‘keywords’. Keep job titles straightforward. In-house recruitment specialists, HR professionals, and recruitment agencies and search firms will conduct ‘keyword’ searches on LinkedIn to identify as narrow a shortlist with the most relevant profiles for their roles. You need to try and make sure your profile is the one that appears in their searches. Avoid glitzy, busy icons, anything too ‘random’ and ‘out there’.

Yes, you want to come across as someone with ideas and creativity of thought, but you need to also come across as someone who can fit into the professional, flexible, 21st century working world.


For personal, one on one advice about your CV, or anything to help you take the next step in your career, contact our team for

confidential and tailored advice on 01332 346 100

or by email to Mary Maguire






The Dark Side of Valentines Day and other key dates in the year

The social media and pressures in general forced upon someone who was actually very fragile, resulted in tragedy for Caroline, her friends, and family.

Her death also served to highlight as a warning for all of us that whilst dates in the year like Valentines Day have typically become a day of ‘lurve’, joy and celebration, there are a whole lot of people for whom these dates float around bringing them dread.

Relationships can and do break up.

Many people, find occasions like the 14th of February hard to deal with as they are single, having relationship difficulties or just ‘in-between’ relationships.

Some will be very happy in their own company too.

Mary writes in her piece that

“Whilst happily married, I’ve known times before I met ‘the one’ where I delighted in my own company, and times I felt genuinely lonely, feeling a bit out of the loop if Valentines Day coincided with one of those periods.

My point? It’s easy to feel that you should comply with the herd. In this case, the schmaltz churned out by any kind of media or peer pressure.

So, whatever your relationship status, celebrate the fact that you, yourself, are great! Allow yourself to feel happy whether you are single, married, or other. Most of all, be mindful that today and every day, there may be work colleagues, friends and family who may be finding it tough and who would appreciate some love of the friendship and empathy kind.

This is such a huge topic and one that employers everywhere and anyone with work colleagues need to be mindful of. Not everyone may be in the ‘happy’ place you are in, but a friendly smile, gentle touch and warm words of encouragement can go a long way in helping someone step away from dark thoughts.


To see other posts and articles by Mary, you can view her LinkedIn and Follow Mary on https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-maguire-55307318/ 

You can follow our company LinkedIn page by clicking HERE and just selecting “FOLLOW”





CV Magazine Award Mary Maguire Most Influential Woman in Financial Recruitment 2019
CV Magazine Award Mary Maguire Most Influential Woman in Financial Recruitment 2019








Our MD, Mary Maguire, was delighted to receive the award for “Most Influential Woman In Financial Recruitment 2019” by CV Magazine.


Here’s what Mary had to say about this achievement: –

“I’m so thrilled to be awarded “Most Influential Woman In Financial Recruitment 2019″!

Those that know me, know I’m ultra reluctant to put myself forward for awards, let alone shout about them! However, pester power from Hubby, my Business Partner, Sarah Stevenson and friends have finally won the day I posted recently on LinkedIn.

My passion is sending positive messages about business, careers, and inspiration for individuals.

As a former Londoner, who moved to Derby 17 years ago, I’m proud to say my home is in Derbyshire.

I’ve been lucky enough to get to know so many brilliant people, whether in business or not.

The East Midlands is an amazing place. Its been brilliant to share some of the successes our region has achieved. To receive an award like this means a lot.

I hope I continue to inspire, continue to provoke thoughts and sometimes raise a smile!

Thank you if you’ve enjoyed my articles and posts.

I hope I’ll continue to air and share content people enjoy, find useful and hopefully inspire their personal and professional success and wellbeing.”

It is safe to say we are all really proud of Mary’s award. It is great to see her receive an award in her own right after all the success she has achieved in securing Astute’s other 15+ award wins over the years!