Your CV is the written version of you. It’s your first chance to make a great impression and engage with potential employers. Just as you’d plan what to wear to an interview, your CV also needs thought and preparation.
Writing a CV can be intimidating for anyone. It’s difficult to know what to include, what to omit and how to make your CV stand out. A HR or hiring manager may only have 30 seconds to review it, alongside a number of others vying for the same attention, so your CV needs to make an immediate positive impact.
Why is a CV important?
- Although the world now has a variety of social media tools to choose from, CVs are still a standard first measure of a candidate’s abilities
- Employers are looking for content that is relevant to the company and the specific role you are applying for, which is why presenting this information in a concise, grammatically correct, easy to read format is essential
- Hiring managers will initially be scanning for relevant key words, but the lay out of your information can be just as important in setting expectations of your talents ahead of any interview and can clearly communicate that you have the abilities required for the role
Elevate your CV
- Use action words to start each point, these enhance your CV making your statements and descriptions more powerful:
ADAPTED BUDGETED CULTIVATED DOUBLED EVALUATED FORMED GENERATED HALVED IMPROVED JUDGED MAXIMISED LEVERAGED NEGOTIATED OBTAINED PROMOTED QUALIFIED RESOLVED SUPERVISED UTILISED TRANSFORMED VALIDATED WIDENED LOADED YIELDED
- Read what you’ve written out loud, and get someone else to double check your grammar and spelling
- Emphasise accomplishments and responsibilities, not just within skills and achievements but throughout the CV
- Use consistent layout to maintain the look of the page and a font that is easy to read such as Arial, Helvetica or Century Gothic
- Avoid lengthy CVs (usually two sides of A4 is enough)
- Don’t lie, embellish or misrepresent your skills
- Use key words to highlight your skills but avoid slang, jargon, abbreviations and repetitions
- If you are including a photograph, keep it appropriate and professional
- If you’re applying for a creative role, then think creatively about your CV
If you’re still in any doubt, join Navigator, our online community for help and advice to book a free CV surgery with one of our expert team.