We’ve covered some choice examples of what you shouldn’t do with your CV, so now it’s time to look at some current best practice. Our team has put their heads together and selected their top 5 pieces of CV-writing advice.
1) Research and tailor
You should never aim for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ CV. No two job descriptions are exactly the same and no two companies are either. It is crucial for you to research the company you are applying to first and then tailor your CV to them and their job requirements. Of course, having a standard template of a great CV makes this process quicker so by all means create one main CV that you go back to, but don’t submit it before you’ve tweaked it accordingly.
2) Back yourself up
Everything you write on your CV about yourself should be qualified. When explaining skills or qualities you possess, cite real examples that demonstrate how they have featured in your career. Backing up everything you say in a CV creates trust and a perception that you are genuine and reliable. You don’t have to take up lots of valuable space explaining yourself, just a few lines will do. It needs to be enough to explain yourself but it doesn’t have to be comprehensive – you’ll get opportunity to expand upon it in the interview.
3) Be positive
Few careers are perfect. You may have had some serious downturns, or even acrimonious departures from companies, but don’t let that have any influence on the tone of your CV. Keep it positive and pro-active. Talk about anything that has held you back or knocked you off course as challenges and focus on how you met them, rather than what they might have done to your professional life.
4) Keep it up to date
Seems an obvious one, but too often we get CVs through that we are later told ‘should have had my latest qualification’ on it’. Again, it’s a simple step to ensure that your CV is as current as it can be. Check it every time you send it out. You need to do this to tailor it anyway, but make sure you don’t overlook any new information that might need to be on there.
You knew it was coming. This is one piece of advice we cannot mention enough. Your CV has to be 100% error free. It doesn’t matter how amazing the content is, if there’s so much as one typo, it will jump off the page. It is a silly way to lose points on a CV when it is so easy to avoid. If you’re sick of looking at your own words after a day of writing, proof the next day or get someone you trust to do it for you.
There are many more aspect to creating a knock-out CV but these are some of the heaviest hitters. We hope you find this post useful and if you want to see more like this, or posts on any area of job-search, get in touch!