How to Write an Impressive CV
Most professionals know how to write a CV. It is a basic knowledge that every prospective employee should possess. However, how do you make sure that your CV is enough? Read on below.
Essential parts of a CV
Below are the necessary parts of a CV. You may exclude some of these sections as you deem fit, although you will always have to complete your essential personal details.
Name, title, and contact details
The very first part of your CV is your basic details —your name, professional title, and contact details. Do write your full name and spell out your professional title. Treat your name as your CV title instead of writing “curriculum vitae” or “CV” on the top to conserve valuable space and put emphasis on your identity instead.
As for your contacts, include only business contacts such as your work phone number, a professional email address, and your LinkedIn contact (make sure that it is updated). Under this heading, you may also include your location or hometown.
Your personal statement is also known as a career objective, personal profile, or professional profile. It functions as an introduction to your CV and reflects who you are as a professional. In essence, it is a vital portion of your CV.
In learning how to write a CV, you should learn how to write an excellent personal statement. It should answer the following questions:
Who are you? What can you offer to the company? What are your professional goals?
Experience is critical for some job positions. Any work experience, including internships, is included in the work experience section. An effective way to list your work experience is in the reverse-chronological order, with your most recent employment first and working your way back.
With each listed work experience, don’t forget to include your job title, your employer, covered period, and role summary. Under each role, you may bullet your primary responsibilities, skills, and achievements using powerful language and keywords from the employer’s job description.
Education and qualifications
While there are jobs that don’t require a specific degree for you to qualify, jobs that have educational requirements, including your academic attainments are a must. Make sure to include the degree you finished, the years you spent studying, and the institution you graduated from. If you received any academic honors, including those is a big bonus.
Apart from education, other qualifications such as licensure and certification indicate that you are a competent professional who is legally qualified to undertake the role.
If you feel like your CV needs a little bit more oomph, you can add in a skills section to highlight your capabilities. A skills section is a fundamental part of a functional resume. Another area you can add in is hobbies and interests. It may seem insignificant, but what you do in your spare time may reveal some skills that could impress your interviewer.
Want to know the inside scoop on how to write a CV from a recruiter? Check out this online course.
CV writing hacks
Below are some tips and tricks on how to write a CV that stands out to impress.
Avoid placing a “curriculum vitae” header
As previously mentioned, writing “curriculum vitae” or CV at the top of your CV is a waste of space. It is redundant and makes your application seem like a mere template. Instead, let your identity shine through by placing your name as the title of the entire document.
Tailor to fit the job
During a job-hunting process, you are likely to apply with multiple potential employees at a time. Some applicants may be tempted to submit the same CV to various companies –like hitting send all to get as many applications out as possible. Unfortunately, this tactic is very obvious to hiring managers, and it could harm your prospects. It will make it evident that you did not put any effort into your application.
To prevent this from happening, avoid sending the same thing to different companies. Read through every job description and adjust your content accordingly. Remember that one company will have other skills and qualifications requirements from another.
Avoid cliche terms
The terms “hardworking,” “team player,” or “multitasker” may be all impressive, but they’re sadly overused among so many applications. If you use very common terms to describe your skills and strengths, you will have a hard time standing out from hundreds of other applications. You might not get noticed right away.
Format your CV to represent that of a professional. Avoid using overly-fancy and unreadable fonts that will give the hiring manager a hard time trying to decipher the contents of your resume.
When designing your layout, try not to overdo it by using too many colors or other visual elements that may distract the reader’s attention from the critical information contained in the CV itself. This is especially true for formal roles such as in finance, medicine, and business. More creative jobs may have a bit more liberty in terms of CV design.
Finally, make sure that the information you include is strictly professional. Avoid divulging personal information, mostly if you are posting your CV online, as this poses a security threat to you. Also, make sure that your email is professional as well.
Never lie or exaggerate
It may be tempting to really sell yourself in the CV by magnifying your skills, achievements, and qualifications to the point of exaggeration. No matter how badly you want to do this, know that this is never a good idea. If ever you get considered for an interview, the hiring manager will instantly see if you’ve lied in your CV.
Lying as a first impression will not get you far in your application. In fact, it may forever ban you from that company. Instead, try to focus on the skills and qualities that you do possess and highlight them by citing examples of when you applied them in your previous job.
Proofread your finished CV
Part of being professional is to submit polished work. Any typographical or design errors in your CV will create a wrong impression for the hiring manager. Submitting a CV full of mistakes means that you have little or no attention to detail, you are lazy, or you are not really that skilled when it comes to writing. If you want to make a good initial impression with a potential employer, you need to make sure that your CV is spotless.