CV writing is an art that usually needs more understanding than the CV writer first thinks!
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got years of experience under your belt or are newly joining the workforce, your chance of scoring an interview is far more likely if you have an impressive CV that puts your skills, education and experience on display.
After all, a CV is often the first chance of a good impression you get to make and with a well-written professional CV, it could be one of many more to come.
If you only follow a few pieces of advice when crafting your CV, follow these as a minimum…
Take out the objective.
Seeing that you’re already applying for the job, it should be obvious you want it. You can cover your desire for the role in your cover letter, or if you’re changing industries, it might be useful to add a brief introductory summary in the resume instead.
Brief is best.
While mastering the art of sandwich making may have proved helpful for getting a job in high school, it’s time to delete that unnecessary clutter if it’s not related to the role you’re applying for. Give more space to detail about your present or recent jobs and less space about the past. If it doesn’t fit on one to two pages – it’s probably not worth writing about!
Recruiters only spend 6 seconds on average reviewing each CV they receive so any more than a few pages, and you’re wasting your time.
Make sure you highlight specific skills that are relevant to the job you’re trying to get, that will often mean adjusting your resume for each new application.
How much info is too much?
Leave out your age, religion, marital status and nationality.
This was once the standard in the past but is now illegal for your employer to ask you about, and there’s no need to include it as it has no influence on your ability to perform a job.
For security reasons, never include your date of birth, and never your bank account details… that might seem like common sense, but it’s amazing what we see applicants include!
As for an address, merely a suburb and state will suffice.
Make it Clear & Concise
Use simple text using a modern, standard font that is easy to read, and that everyone can understand.
Modern means NO Times New Roman or Comic Sans.
As everything in your resume is about your experiences, avoid writing in first or third person.
For example, instead of writing “I handled a team of five”, or “Liz maintained a team of five” write “responsible for managing a team of five” instead, as part of your concise bullet points.
Avoid using over-complicated layouts with headers, footers, tables or other items that may not look right when viewed on different computers with various software versions.
We use templates that ensure you stand out but have also been checked for stability and can be read by all operating systems
Be sure to run a spell check to pick up any errors – a colossal mistake that is simple to avoid! On top of that, get a friend or family member to review in case there’s anything the checker hasn’t picked up.
Keep it Professional
There’s nothing wrong with using the same email address that you created when Hotmail came about in the 90’s, but if it looks unprofessional, (yes, that’s you sassygirl2000), it’s time to set up a new one… for job applications at least.
Never use your current work email, or phone number for that matter, unless you want to get yourself into trouble!
Adhere to All Application requirements
Above all, you won’t get noticed if you don’t follow every one of the specific requirements that have been instructed in the job advertisement. Often both resumes and cover letters are requested in a particular file format (doc, pdf, docx, rtt). Sometimes advertisements require applications be delivered or addressed in a specific way.
Choose not to adhere to just one of these, and you’ll be straight to the bottom of the pile.