How to Write an Impressive CV
A well-written CV is your VIP ticket to the interviews. Nowadays the recruiters have to scan dozens of CVs before they decide whom to invite to an interview. So it is likely you will have only a few seconds to impress them with your competence and experience. Make those seconds count.
How to write a successful CV?
Keep it short. Since your time is limited you have to limit the length of your CV as well. If your work experience is relevant, include them by all means, but avoid making your CV longer than two pages. You want to make it informative but concise. In case it is longer than one page, make sure you print it on separate sheets.
Write targeted CV. Always keep in mind the job you have applied for. I know, it can be tiresome to tailor your CV for each job you apply for, but your effort will have its reward. Leave out everything that is irrelevant and concentrate on those skills that match the job requirements. Highlight them and place key information at the top. Use positive verbs such as 'increased' or 'initiated' to describe your achievements and powerful headings to ‘sell’ yourself. Prove them you are the one they are looking for.
Make sure it is logically ordered and easy to read. The content is crucial, but hardly anyone will read your CV if it is cramped and unreadable. Use bullet points, bold and italics, spacing and headings to have a clear layout. If the recruiter can find what he is looking for within seconds, you can be sure your message gets through.
Choose a professional font. If you go for a hard to read font you risk not only to give a bad impression but the recruiter might not even take the trouble to decipher it. So stick with the more traditional fonts (Arial or Times New Roman).
Don't exaggerate. Though no one will sue you if you exaggerate in your CV, you can kiss goodbye to the job if you are caught telling fibs and be sure that the truth will be revealed sooner or later.
No typos. Use a spell checker and read your CV carefully before applying for a job. Recruiters tend to reject candidates with spelling mistakes in their CVs. Why? Because it implies carelessness. Not the best image to create, if you ask me.
List your work experience and your education into reverse chronological order. Put more emphasis on those that helped you gain skills and experience that you could use in the advertised vacancy.
What to include into your CV?
I have already mentioned how important it is to make your CV easy to read. The easiest way to do that is to divide your CV into logically ordered sections. Here are the sections you should include into your resume:
Keep this section short: include your name, address, email address and phone number. Remember, your email address should sound professional, preferably including your name. Avoid email IDs like: [email protected] Don't waste space by including your birthday, gender, nationality or marital status. But if you need work permit to work in the UK, make clear that you have it.
This is an optional section. Some of the recruiters may automatically reject candidates that don’t include photos into their CVs. Make sure you use a recent photo that reflects your professional side.
An employer might have more than just one job vacancy at the same time. So it’s always a good idea to specify what is your profession and so what position you are qualified for and interested in.
Give a list of your previous job titles, dates of employment, company names, locations and key responsibilities. Focus on mentioning experiences that will make the employer interested in you. Make sure you list your achievements as well. What is the difference between responsibility and achievement? An achievement is something impressive that wasn’t necessary part of your daily job. And don’t forget to use reverse order.
List all your qualifications and training. Start with the most recent one and focus on those that helped you to gain relevant skills. If you are a graduate job seeker, you might want to mention any extracurricular activity you were involved in, as it can tell a lot about your personality and abilities. For instance, if you were helping other students as a tutor, make sure you mention it. It reflects your outgoing personality and your ability to understand and pass on information. It’s also a good idea to list the courses you’ve attended after finishing your ‘basic’ education to prove that you are continuously developing yourself by learning new skills.
In this section you should write about relevant skills that would help you to fulfill the duties of the vacant job. Mention also any further skill that can be an advantage to you such as language skills, driving license and computing skills.
Not sure where to start? Check out our free CV builder.