10 Tips for Successful CV Writing
When you have a new job in your sights, your CV may well be all it takes to grant you a spot in the interview waiting list – but what can you do to protect your CV from ending up in the recycling bin, rather than getting in line for the interviewing process?
Compiling a strong CV is not hard, provided that you know the proper way to do it. What you have to do, is gather all your professional know-how and expertise, and accommodate them to your target position. However, there will be times that you don’t reach the required standards. In such cases, the following checklist will help you craft a winning CV and land your next (or first) job.
Don’t underestimate the basics
There isn’t such a thing as a “single-best-way” of writing a CV, however, you should make sure that certain elements are mentioned, such as personal and contact details, education and certifications, professional experience and prior work placements, dexterities concerning the job you are applying for, interests and hobbies, and lastly, references.
Make it good-looking
Good CVs always look good. Good appearances come from the careful and tidy presentation, and the clean, bright white paper print. Always use plain and straightforward layouts and never fold your CV –post it in an appropriately sized folder instead.
There is a thing called “the CV hotspot”. It’s the upper central section of the leading page, where the evaluators gaze will first fall, so it’s a good idea to strategically place your most important details there.
Don’t make it longer than two A4 pages
Successful CVs avoid unnecessary babbling and contain clear, compact and to the point data. Avoid writing pages upon pages and try to be laconic instead. The CV acts as a guarantee to your future employer, an opportunity to call the right answers. In doing so, you increase your chances to secure an interview. Moreover, since loads of CVs are being sent for every opening, the chances are that few of them get to be read in detail. Usually, CVs are judged via skimming one or two sections, so try not to go over two A4 pages max.
Understand what the job asks for
Make sure you read the job application as carefully as you can, for any hidden clues. Study it in depth and mark all criteria, both those you can and you can’t meet. With those that you feel you are left behind, try to accommodate the skills you already have, satisfy them.
For instance, if sales experience is a prerequisite, then you might as well mention any placement in retail you have had, even a temporary one during college. You wouldn’t only be showing off your skills, but also your ability to transfer them.
Adjust your CV to the job application
After acknowledging exactly what the job is all about and how you fill its criterion, craft your CV just for this specific position. A most important thing to know is that generic CVs don’t exist! For every job you are applying for, there should be a specifically adjusted CV to address the job’s requirements so get motivated and don’t expect these generic templates you found on the internet will work – they won’t.
Craft a different CV to accompany each job application. Don’t write everything from scratch; just fine-tune the small print so it better suits each position.
Exploit your skills
When outlining your skills in the relevant CV section, make sure to underscore those skills that will distinguish you from the masses. Such skills are computer knowledge and communication, team work, problem solving or foreign language knowledge. It is possible
Under the skills section of your CV don’t forget to mention key skills that can help you to stand out from the crowd. These could include: communication skills; computer skills; team working; problem solving or even speaking a foreign language. You can discover skills in places you ‘ve never thought possible, so take your time to find them; consider everything, from playing basketball in a local team to doing volunteer work. It all counts
Exploit your interests
When describing your interests, underline the ones that demonstrate useful dexterities you’ve earned through them, and employers seek. Mention all the situations where you held a responsible position or lead a team and, generally, anything showing you can take matters in your own hands; running your college’s paper or creating an all-amateurs football team that took the local championship. The point is to demonstrate your diversity, skill and overall attractiveness. Therefore, leaving out passive activities like listening to the music or lonely hobbies that may imply you don’t like being around people. Present yourself as a really engaging person.
Exploit your experience
When filling out your past work experience section, make use of emphatic and confident terminology, such as “completed”, “achieved” and “organized”. Again, attempt to associate the skills you earned from your past experience to the job you are after. For instance, “working for this group involved leading a team of 5 people”, or “my placement there involved planning, organizing and leading several of my co-workers”.
Try not to leave anything out. Even the humblest of jobs may hide gems.
You should add references from a previous employer who can guarantee for your abilities and work experience. If you are applying for your first job, then you could include references from a tutor or a professor. Two are better than one.
Regularly update your CV
It’ essential to check your CV regularly and update it with any new dexterities or experience you gradually acquire. Doing volunteer work or completing a new and exciting task are such occasions. Your future employer will surely appreciate your extra effort to enrich your skillset and expand your training.