It’s pretty obvious that your CV is the bridge between you and your new dream job. So it’s of the greatest importance that your CV covers all the angles to ensure that you increase your chances of being selected for the interview. Whether we like it or not, we have to look at your CV as a marketing tool and once we successfully market your skills, experience, key achievements and education, then you are already on the path to getting selected for the interview, remember, it’s all about putting your best foot forward. So, here are 13 great practical tips to having a great CV.
Select a Really Good Readable Font and Format the Text. Try and avoid the standard font of Times New Roman, and rather feel free to use Calibri, Arial, Helvetica or Verdana. A simple and readable font will not affect the content of the CV, but will certainly make the reading ‘easy on the eye’. Ensure that all of the text is appropriately formatted throughout the CV by removing duplicate spaces, reducing indentations, creating clear headers, lists, and bullet point markers in a single style to make the text look nice and neat.
Which is Better, MS Word or PDF? When creating the CV, absolutely you must use MS Word, but when sending it out and applying for jobs, we would recommend making sure that it saved as a PDF version. Saving it as a PDF flattens and makes the document un-editable, meaning that nobody can edit or tamper with your document. Of course, in order to make changes, make the changes in the original MS Word file and then re-save as a PDF to send out again.
Add Links to Social Media Where Necessary Links to Instagram will be relevant only if you are looking for a role in social media, PR or marketing. Just before adding links to pages, be sure to clean up your profile, and particularly, delete any negative or inappropriate photos.
Check Spelling & Grammar It goes without saying, there is no great need to explain why you should check for spelling errors in the text of your CV. Make sure that you use MS Word tools to check for spelling mistakes, it’s take 5 minutes. Not checking your spelling can cost you a potential interview opportunity.
Remove Cliché Phrases With millions upon millions applying for jobs all of the time, you can be that the majority of CVs sound pretty much the same. This is because we can all get lazy when it comes to getting creative on our CVs. To make sure that you stand out form the crowd, remove unnecessary phrases such as “I am a hard-working” “I am determined” “I am dynamic”, try and think more deeply about your personality, if you have to, use synonyms.
Paraphrase Your Content Read the CV and replace boring phrases with more energetic and active ones. “Being engaged in sales” or “leading a corporate page in social networks” does not sound very good, but “raised sales by X%”, “closed 5 vacancies per month” or “increased the number of subscribers by 30% over a period of 2 months” are more expressive and personal, which then already demonstrates to the employer that you are an achiever.
Refresh Your Education & Qualifications Section Add new certificates from courses, latest jobs or publications in the CV. Remove out-dated skills such as a “confident PC user”. If you are a specialist in several areas, group the skills by industry.
Focus on The Past 10-15 Years of Your Career Experienced professionals with experience of 7-10 years clearly cannot specify all jobs that they have had over the years. So its better to describe the last 5 years of work experience and also those positions that are in common with the vacancy that you are looking to apply for.
Read Your CV Out Aloud This way, you will find errors that you missed and understand how the phrases actually sound.
Reduce Responsibilities and Add Your Key Achievements Describe each of your roles with no more than 6-7 bullet point responsibilities. Of course, you had more of them, but look at your activities critically and leave only the most important thing. Then add around 3 key achievements underneath clearly highlighting with a subtitle that they are key achievements.
Ask for an Honest Opinion from a CV Writer or Someone in The Industry CVs are incredibly subjective, they are like paintings, however, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, not everyone will see what you see and vice versa. Give your CV to a not-so-familiar friend, colleague or even a professional CV Writer. Feel free to ask them of the honest opinion from improvement.
Always Tell The Truth It’s always tempting to write something to embellish on the truth to make you sound better. Always be truthful and factual, you will always be found out in the end, and this can be damaging on your character.