CVs are used by employers as a means to reduce a large number of applicants down to a small number of interview candidates.
Picture an employee at their desk with 50 or more CVs to review. What is going to make yours stand out? You only have one chance to make a first impression.
Here are some quick tips to help you write the best CV possible and to keep your CV out of the reject pile.
- Include a cover letter – Address the position on offer and, in a few lines, detail the reasons why you are qualified for the advertised position.
- Be aware of the job that you are applying for – Ensure that the skills on your CV are those that are required for the job.
- Check and double check for spelling mistakes – For example, spell check doesn't know the difference between "here" and "hear" so be thorough. If possible, ask someone else to proofread your CV. A fresh pair of eyes will spot errors and typos that you could have missed.
- Include your contact information, most importantly your name – You may even choose to have your name and page numbers in the footer of each page. If somehow the pages become separated, the employer will still know who you are.
- Generally, the advice is to make sure your CV is no longer than 2 pages – Include all important information by keeping to short, concise sentences and phrases.
- Make sure that your dates follow in chronological order starting with the most recent – Maintain the same format throughout. You want to make it as easy as possible for the person reading to follow your career progression.
- Don't lie on your CV – As they say, honesty is the best policy. You wouldn’t want to be put on the spot in an interview when asked to explain something that isn't true or that has been exaggerated.
- Don't sell yourself short – Highlight your achievements, focus on the positives and try to present yourself in the best light. Where possible, give specific examples of your accomplishments.