Writing a great CV is the key to standing out from the competition and getting that job you want. In today’s world, with its short attention spans and the sheer volume of applicants being sifted by humans and bots, the CV needs to be more than just an account of your experience. It needs to grab attention, communicate your unique value, and make the employer want to learn more about you.
Transform your job search with our 10 CV writing tips!
- Use 1-2 pages, always consider readability and not squeezing too much information on one page. Don’t decorate your CV with colours, jazzy templates, shapes etc. It should be a simple layout, easy to read and parsable for ATS (applicant tracking systems). Do not send the CV in a pdf file edited in a table that some systems cannot ‘read’. Editable Word or PDF files are preferred.
- Write a header that includes your job title or the titles that closely match the positions that are applicable to you. The contact information section should include your name, location (city, country, not your full address), one mobile number, and one email address. Photos are not necessary. Reference details are not necessary.
- Write a summary or objective statement 1-2 paragraphs. This is a brief overview of your qualifications, experience and what you can offer your next employer. This should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. Avoid stating things like ‘I’m a team player’ or ‘I work better under pressure’. Only list these competencies if you can quantify these, otherwise they’re just generic statements made by many and have little bearing.
- List key skills. Strategise your CV for applicant tracking systems by assigning keywords relevant to your experience and the position that you are aspiring for. Be careful not to overdo this, tailoring to the human reader is key over the bot!
- List your education and results/grades in the following format: ‘institution or education body’, ‘location’, ‘qualification/award’ ‘dates from /to’, ‘grades’. List relevant trainings in the same way.
- Write the body of your resume. Use the space well (avoid adding tables, boxes, indenting and playing around with margins). This should be in chronological order, most recent employment first. Add details to your most recent three employments. Dates from-to, name of employer, location (city, country), job title and what the employer’s core business is – don’t assume the reader will know that ABC enterprises is a software development company building solutions for the digital payments sector, for example. The rest of your employment history you can list as ‘job title’, ‘employer’, ‘dates’ and a brief sentence or two to summarize.
- Rather than listing your entire job description, write about what you have achieved doing the tasks assigned to you. Quantify achievements where possible. Use a mix of bullet points and sentences.
- Achievements. Showcase the things you have done throughout that have had impact. Focus on achievements, not just responsibilities – instead of simply listing job duties, highlight specific accomplishments and the impact you made in your previous roles. Quantify where possible by using examples to illustrate the impact you had.
- Tailor your CV to the specific job you’re applying for – customize your CV to highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the job. Keep it concise and to the point. Finally, proofread carefully – make sure to review your CV for typos and grammatical errors before submitting it.
- Your CV and LinkedIn profile should tell the same story! Above all, we need to know why YOU were/are succesful in your career and why you’re suitable for the job you’re applying for. Authenticity!
Happy job searching!
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