When you’re trying to land your next big gig, a great CV is vital. After all, potential employers look at your CV to decide if you make the cut when selecting a shortlist of candidates for interviews.
Your aim is to ensure that your CV is crafted in the best way possible. It is important to showcase all of the skills and experiences that are related to the job you’r applying for, while also making sure your CV is error-free and visually appealing.
So, how do you write a great CV? Here are some tips to help you in your 2019 job search.
Writing a CV is not as difficult as it seems; however, if you want to land your dream job, you will have to put in the effort.
When applying for jobs, look for keywords used in the job description and implement them in your CV. These keywords usually appear in the skills and qualifications required for the job section. Make sure that each CV you write is customized to the position and company you are applying to. A common first-time-job-searcher-mistake is sending the exact same CV to every company.
Take the time to adjust your CV for each application and use the proper keywords to make it standout.
Compare Your CV to Others in the Industry
Even if you know how to write a CV, you should check and see what other people in the same industry are doing. There are different ways that you can craft a resume and depending on the industry different formats are favored above others. Look at samples of resumes online.
A few things you should pay attention to are:
- Font. Check out the types of fonts people in your industry generally use and select one that is professional and easy to read.
- Brevity. It is important to use simple language and to get directly to the point. Pay attention to how others in your industry list their skills and experiences with the least possible words.
- Layout. Numbers and bullets are a great way to keep your CV organized and easy to read. Some industries allow for more creative uses of space as well, such as boxes and columns.
Remember that the aim of looking at samples is not so that you can copy and paste, but so you can borrow ideas to use in your own CV.
List the Most Relevant Information First
According to research, recruiters take 6 seconds to review a resume before moving on to the next one. If you’re trying to capture their attention, you should start with the details which are the most important.
Instead of showcasing irrelevant accolades which you received years ago and that job you worked Freshman year of high school, start with your most recent job/internship.
When listing your achievements and related skills, select those that are most relevant to the job at hand. Since you already reviewed the job description, you should have a good understanding of what the employer wants. Include details that fit the agenda. This will increase your chances of being spotted by the recruiter and securing that coveted interview.
Avoid Unnecessary Subheadings
When breaking down your CV into subheadings such as Education, Work Experience, Achievements, etc. only use those subheadings that will highlight the skills you need (and have!) for the job.
Your CV should only be one to two pages long, meaning space is limited — and precious. If there are subheadings that you do not need in your document, remove them.
For example, if you’re applying for a job and have zero previous work experience, it doesn’t make sense to include a Work Experience section. Instead, include a Volunteer Work or Related Experience section where you can highlight different activities you’ve been involved in that relate back to the skills required for the position.
Always, Always Proofread Your CV
If your CV contains numerous grammatical errors, it will probably be tossed aside — even if all your skills align with the job.
It is important to pass your document through a grammar checker to catch any initial mistakes you may have made. You should also read your resume out loud — twice. Sometimes our eyes automatically fix mistakes when we read in our reads. By reading out loud, your ear will catch these mistakes your eye might have missed.
It’s also a great idea to have someone else read over your CV before you send it out.
Keep Your CV Up to Date
CV writing is a continuous process. This is because you’re constantly learning new skills — and you’ll want your CV to reflect that!
If you recently entered graduate school, add it to your education section. If you spent time volunteering abroad last fall or you joined a work abroad program, it’s time to update your CV. Just completed a coding boot camp? Yup, add that too.
Future employers and recruiters alike want to see you using your time wisely and actively, so don’t miss an opportunity to showcase all your latest skills and achievements.
If you follow the above tips you’ll increase your chances of attracting the attention of recruiters and landing an interview, which could lead to you getting your next great job.
About Alyssa Johnson: Alyssa is a professional writer who helps students overcome academic writing struggles. Every student can get succeed in college — they just need a helping hand.