Your ability to write a great CV is an important part of getting hired– it’s the first thing your employers will see, and it’s the first impression that they’ll have of you as a person and as a prospective employee.
It’s important to know how to write a great CV to make yourself seem professional, reliable and hardworking – but at the same time, personable and friendly – because no one wants to hire some who is grumpy or miserable.
So here are 5 top tips to help you write a great CV:
Write a Great CV: Put your experience first.
For most companies, they care more about relevant experience than grades and exams. You will need to put your grades on there – but list your experience first (if you have it). Explain what your position was, how you embraced the position and what skills you learnt whilst there.
Be positive and enthusiastic about your experience too – even if all you did was make coffee for bossy CEOs – you should be phrasing it more like “I helped assist with day to day office activities, ensuring that the CEOs and managers had what they needed”. Always upsell yourself, just don’t lie.
Write a Great CV: Keep it simple.
Don’t try too hard to over- design your CV. Keep it clean, simple and easy to read. Choose a font like Ariel or Calibri to stand out from the crowd (most people use Time New Roman) but don’t go too far with the font experimentation. And never use comic sans.
Write a Great CV: Don’t include a photograph
Unless you are specifically asked to include one, definitely don’t include a photograph. Employers interpret this in two ways: either arrogance or misunderstanding of the position. They don’t care what you look like as long as you’re good at the job – so don’t include one as it appears naïve and unprofessional.
Write a Great CV: Include a cover letter
Always include a cover letter with your CV – and always write the cover letter specifically for each company you’re applying to. Make sure you address them personally by name (if you can) and try and refer to specific examples of your work and theirs which you think work well together.
If they design women’s dresses and you write a fashion blog – put that in because it’s important. Don’t ramble on though – it needs to be short, snappy and to the point. Make them want you, don’t make them cast your letter aside.
Write a Great CV: Keep your CV precise
When you list your experience and grades, keep it relevant and precise. The banking firm you’re applying to doesn’t necessarily want to know about the swimming medal you won 6 years ago.
They probably don’t need to know about the summer you work behind a bar either. Not all experience is relevant – so be careful what you list. You’re allowed to leave something’s out – it’s not a problem to do that.