In job applications, CVs are the most commonly requested document. A CV is essentially a summary of your educational background, work experience, credentials, and other achievements and talents.
Because your CV precedes you, you want to make it the best it possibly can be.
Here are ten CV tips that will leave your reader anticipating meeting you:
1. WRITE IN A PROFESSIONAL MANNER
The first impression you make on potential employers is through your CV. It is therefore vital that you write it in a very professional manner. Good CVs are polished, no matter what business you’re in or what level of education you have. Use the correct grammar – dot your Is, cross your Ts and check for punctuation and spelling errors – make sure it really is top-notch.
2.USE THE KEYWORDS IN THE JOB LISTINGS
When writing your CV, especially for a specific job listing, you would find particular words – keywords that are highlighted as what they want from a prospective employee in terms of skills or qualities. In writing your CV, pay close attention to those words and make use of them where you can. If you have any of the skills or qualities listed as a keyword, use that word as it is written in the listing. This is sure to set your CV apart from others. This is an excellent tip for your cover letter too!
3. BEGIN WITH YOUR PERSONAL NARRATIVE
This is a crucial CV tip. A solid introductory summary is the foundation of a good CV. It’s your time to show yourself off as a well-rounded individual. Think about your relationship between professional ambitions and your work experience as well as education and volunteer experience when writing your introduction.
4. SHOUT ABOUT YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Your CV isn’t the place to be modest about your achievements; it’s the place to be loud about them. A well-written CV emphasises all relevant accomplishments, education, and skills. Your achievements from previous roles could just be what gets you through the door.
5. YOUR EDUCATION SHOULD BE HIGHLIGHTED
Employers love candidates that are well-educated, so try to include all your relevant schooling, training, and other certifications on your CV. Whether it’s a degree or a professional qualification, make sure it is included in your CV.
6. WRITE RELEVANT INFORMATION
When writing a CV, one crucial tip is to write information relevant to the job position you are applying for. Except if you are writing a CV where you are broadly searching for a job, there is no need to write every job you have ever had. Write down previous jobs, roles, and responsibilities that show why you are a good candidate and can handle the position you are applying for. Ideally, your CV should be no more than two pages long.
7. USE SIMPLE AND CONCISE ENGLISH
In a bid to sound all professional, you may be tempted to use a lot of your industry-specific terms to spice things up – don’t! Sometimes your CV gets to HR before going anywhere else, and if they don’t understand your industry’s language, they would consider the terms as jargon to cover up your lack of experience, and your CV might not pass their office doors. Plenty of sophisticated words do not equal good experience. As much as it is useful to use professional terms, make sure your skills and accomplishments are written in simple and concise English.
8. WRITE THE TRUTH
The results of dishonesty on your CV can be serious. Do not exaggerate your roles or responsibilities in previous roles. If you can’t draw the line between strongly selling yourself and lying, ask yourself if your supervisors can vouch for the things you have written.
9. GET HELP
A lot of people struggle with writing a perfect CV, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can use all of the CV tips we have listed or even use a CV template. In fact, you can even visit speak to our Careers Team, who will always be happy to help.
10. PROOFREAD AND EDIT
This is one CV tip that some people tend to overlook. To guarantee that your CV is free of spelling and grammatical errors, check it several times before sending it. While there are numerous proofreading programs and tools available, having your CV evaluated by trustworthy friends or peer is also advantageous. Having an objective third party analyse your CV in the capacity of an employer might help you identify areas where you can enhance or change it.
A CV is ‘you on paper’. When crafting your CV, it’s essential to think about how you want to be seen and perceived. These CV tips will help, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to do your own research and remember, it’s not the be-all and end-all; it’s just a step in the process.