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How to make a great CV.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) is Latin for biography. Your CV is intended to make a good first impression of who you are, what your skills are, and what you have been trained in. In short, it is your business card, although it is unclear whether the Romans were familiar with this term.

Follow these five tips from an experienced recruiter to upgrade your CV today:

1. Make it readable at a glance.

Make sure your CV is clear at a glance and invites the reader to have a closer look at it. Prioritise a larger font size and conciseness. Every bullet point in your Experience section should answer the question “What was the result of my work?”. Historically, you would list your responsibilities, but in today’s competitive job market, you need to focus much more on achievements and results.

Use 3-5 bullet points per job, maximum. For structure, use STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result. When describing your Result, use metrics to explain your impact.

2. Use a logical layout.

Start with who you are, what your work experience is, and which courses you have completed (detailing the events in reverse chronological order, top-down).

The more recent and relevant, the more details you can add.

Divide your CV according to Summary, Experience, Achievements / Awards, Education, Languages, Skills / Qualifications. Lay out the sections in a way which are easy for the eyes to jump between.

3. Tailor it to the job.

Create a standard CV template that you can easily adapt. Read the job description to get the best out of your qualifications and history. Highlight the strengths which show the hiring manager that you understand what job you are applying for. Define the kind of impression you want to make and then decide whether or not to include a photo.

4. Condense and check.

Spelling mistakes or an incorrect year can be devastating as they might give the impression that you are not conscientious. Leave CV editing for a day so you can look at it with fresh eyes, and ask several people to double-check it too.

With every pass of your CV, you should also be shortening it, saying more in fewer words.

5. Prepare for the future.

Normally, you only make a CV when applying for a job that you really want. Experiment with making or tailoring a CV for a random job vacancy. This makes you ready to go when the perfect job does arise and gives you a headstart on interview preparation without the time pressure.

What about your online CV? Make sure to read our article “Using LinkedIn to its full potential during your job search”, for our top tips on improving your LinkedIn profile today.

For more advice, you can in touch with our experienced team of Talent Acquisition Specialists today, at:

We are here and happy to help with all your recruitment needs, from CV to interview advice.

You can also check out some of our public job opportunities here.


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