Apr 14, 2017
Most probably the very first CV ever writen was by the great artist Leonardo Divinci in 1482, at the age of 30. He wrote out a letter and a list of his capabilities and sent it off to the Duke of Milan. Since then things have changed very much, and you need to present your CV in a good professional format. This post will guide you through all of the basics and tips involved in writing a CV.
Making a successful and powerful CV is a big challenge for many. Although, a CV plays a vital part in job hunting since it is your first impression of the recruitment process. Consider a CV as a marketing document where you are literally marketing yourself. You will have to sell your skills, expertise, qualifications and experience by highlighting your strengths and specialties. Your most primary objective of making a CV is to get the employers attention hard enough to get an interview call. Most of the employers spend no more than few seconds to choose a CV from a pile to call for an interview.
Although, there is not a single standard format to write a CV. It is your personal document and you may use your own artistic mind to represent yourself in the best possible manner. I will share the most important tips and information that you need when writing your CV.
What to include in your CV?
According to a survey conducted of employers following are the aspects which they look for when they are reviewing CVs.
- 45% Work experience
- 35% Qualifications & Skills
- 25% Easy to read
- 16% Accomplishments
- 14% Spelling, grammar & formatting
According to my personal experience I some how believe this survey to be very legit. The beginning of the interview start with your work experience. I have been taking interviews and reviewing CVs also and the first thing we look into is the work experience than academics and so on. Generally, your CV should include:
- Personal & contact information
- Work experience
- Education and qualifications
Presentation is the key
Probably the very important of all is the presentation of the CV. Imagine if you get a flyer on a road for any restaurant doing their marketing if that flyer is not vibrant or is designed too boring, you wouldnt bother reading it with any interest. Same goes for the CV. It is vital for your CV to look good in all aspects. Keeping the idea in mind that how will your CV look on a crisp white paper is very important factor while designing the look of your CV.
Keep it simple and short!
Your CV should not exceed 2 pages, employers do not spend much time looking into your CV so keep it to the point and safe those niggly details for the interview. Choose colors, font and layout interesting and easy to read. Bullet points make your CV readable
Keep your CV updated
Firing off an old CV would be taken very unprofessional. Keep your CV update at all times, no matter if you are very satisfied with your job and not looking for any, troubles come without a notice. Therefore, everytime anything significant happens in your career add it so that you may not loose on time in applying for any opportunity on your way.
CV should be error free!
Avoid mistakes at all costs. Once you finish writing your CV you must send it through spell checkers and also it will be a nice idea to ask out your friend to spot any grammatical, punctuation or formatting mistakes. Many employers judge you on the formatting and even spellings mistakes, conflicting dates etc.
There is nothing like a “Generic” CV
Generic CV is a myth. Mostly when you are applying to different companies sometimes for different vacancies, it is a very wrong approach to send the same CV to all. Always tailor your CV to highlight the right aspects of your experience that is suitable and would be interesting for the employer. You must research the company and the job you are applying for and then decide which skills and your strengths you should point out to them.
Why will they reject your CV?
When asked what would make them automatically reject a candidate, employers said:
- CVs with spelling mistakes or typos 61%
- CVs that copied large amounts of wording from the job posting 41%
- CVs with an inappropriate email address 35%
- CVs that don’t include a list of skills 30%
- CVs that are more than two pages long 22%
- CVs printed on decorative paper 20%
- CVs that detail more tasks than results for previous positions 16%
- CVs that include a photo 13%
- CVs that have large blocks of text with little white space 13%
A survey by CareerBuilder
Free CV Template Downloads
Following are the editable CV templates and formats. Feel free to download and use them and also share them with your friends.
Here are my CVs in pdf. The latest(left) one is made on Photoshop whereas, the right one is the Europass template which you can download from the files above.
Best of luck!