A CV is frequently confused with a resume. They may seem to look the same but there are some distinctions between them like purpose, length, and layout. CVs are two or three pages long while resumes need only one page. That is because a resume is a brief and targeted to a job position description of your skill sand qualifications while a CV is a detailed chronological description of your full career history.
Though there is no one-size-fits-all for a smart CV, it should follow certain formatting rules, be concise enough for a hiring manager to scan it easily and be tailored to the position advertised. If you are not sure what to include in your CV, we suggest following this universally applicable structure:
- Personal information. Apparently, almost all application documents must include this data. However, very often many applicants do not write all their contact details forgetting about email or address. So check out carefully if you have included your full name, contact phone number, address, and email.
- Personal statement. This part of the CV is most important. It explains to a recruiter three main things who you are, what you offer to the company and what career goals you have. This short paragraph has to be written in a very compelling way to convince the recruiter that you are the right person they are looking for.
- Job experience. This is a list of all your workforce positions where each is presented like that: a job title, company’s name, a period of your service at the post and your key duties there. You should start with the most recent position. If you have an extensive work experience, list only relevant history. Keep in mind that a company selects the candidates experienced in the area it operates in, so it is not necessary to describe every single job you have had.
- Education. List your qualifications, the grade you have and other specific educational experiences of yours in a reverse chronological order along with the dates. Place more emphasis on your education, if you feel that your work experience in the field is not that impressive.
- Achievements. This section is essential as it brings to light what skills you have attained while working on a certain post.Once again, include only relevant stuff – knowledge, competencies, talents, strengths – backed with examples. Show how you will apply them to the new activity.
- Hobbies and interests. This section is not essentially a must for the CV, however, if your interests give more evidence of your skills, you may mention. Do not present your hobbies in an anamusing way and do not make them too generalized or personal.
Do not hesitate to describe those projects in your career which were successful — experience is always valuable. Such examples demonstrate the flexibility of thinking, the ability of the applicant to work in a team, the ability to make decisions and bear responsibility for them, etc.
If you have some extra information that can prove your job suitability, list them after the above-mentioned sections. They can be IT skills, computer literacy, language proficiencies, awards, internships and career development courses.
Design of a CV
As a CV is the first document that a recruiter reads, appropriate and accurate design matters. So it should be appealing to the eye to make an employer read it for more details. A messy CV will not get a second glance even if its content is perfect.
To ensure you are presenting yourself in a fine fashion, follow these CV writing recommendations:
- Lay it out logical and well-spaced with easy-to-read headings.
- Maintain consistent formatting.
- Make sure that your experiences and qualifications are arranged in an anti-chronological order.
- Keep it succinct – two pages will be sufficient for most companies.
- Use professional non-distracting font leaving out too stylish ones. Avoid text shadowing, gradient, blurring and other tricks.Arial and Garamond are best fonts you can use. As an alternative, take Calibri or Georgia fonts.
- Use bullet points to attract attention to the key information. It allows recruiters to skim your CV for the details they are looking for in your candidacy for a post.
- You’ll be surprised but Times News Roman may cost you a new position. Let it go to the past.
- Arrange your information in the way so that it will play directly into your employer’s needs. It means you can reorder the sections – place more weighty ones first and hold the least significant back.
CV writing strategies
Every CV should be tailored to a job description where you will find necessary clues and keywords related to your potential position.
The following strategies will help you use the job description efficiently:
- Before you start writing a CV, read everything connected with the role. You might be attracted by the title or the salary they offer, however, you should find out if your qualification and skills match the duties described. Take the time to figure out if the position and the company meet your expectations and if you are a suitable candidate for them.
- Explore what benefits you will have in the new workplace.
- Make sure that most of your skills correlate with the described responsibilities. If only a few things match, think carefully whether you should apply or look for another job.
- If you are a good fit, think of a layout and in the first part of the CV explain to the employer that you are the right person he is hiring. Place the emphasis on relevant skills only.
- Include real-life examples to validate your capabilities and efficiency. Focus on the positive outcomes and present the information using percentages or figures.
- Send your CV once you are sure that it is focused right. Edit and proofread the CV several times. Hint: you should know that every employer is also looking for a dedicated candidate. So make sure you were passionate enough while describing you.
- Try not to overestimate your accomplishments. Some applicants end to make their CV too ideal. In other words, they embellish the facts rather than tell the real story. It makes no sense including the far-fetched examples. Making your CV too good to be true, you risk failing an interview miserably. Why lying if after all, the truth will find the way out during the interview?
Even though your qualifications or job experience are not listed in the requirements or you have less to offer as it is expected, you should consider proceeding towards the position of your dream. There is unlikely the one who is able to meet all the requirements, so do not hesitate to apply further. Perhaps you will be selected due to some other features that will hook the employer's interest.
Words and ideas to include in the CV
It is not easy to figure out what words to use in the CVespecially when there is so much to tell about oneself but the length of the paper is limited to two pages.
Years of providing CV writing assistance enabled us to create a list of most powerful words that really help you that you are a suitable candidate for the position.
Here are some helpful keywords you can use in the CV:
When it comes to your skills, there are some words to avoid as they have become commonplace clichés. Hiring managers get annoyed at reading them in every other CV.
Here is the list of avoid-to-use words so that not to blend in with hundreds of similar job applications:
- Accurate to details
- Good communication skills
- Microsoft Word
You have a limited space and a little time to attract a recruiter's attention, so use it wisely avoiding buzzwords and verbose language. Anyway, you will be able to tell more about yourself at the interview.
Experienced applicants know that writing a CV is not the thing to hurry with. So you should invest enough time and efforts to craft a smart paper. These tips will help you get this process more organized:
- Spend a few days on writing a CV
- Read your CV thoroughly to pick all misspelled words, grammar and punctuation out. A brief skim is not enough for spotting all mistakes.
- Though spell or grammar checkers may help, do not entirely rely on them. Of course, you may use various online editing tools but it would be great to get someone else to polish your CV for mistakes like a competent linguist, teacher or a professional writer.
- Use a CV writing checklist or compose your own not to miss an single content detail or formatting rules.
- Use templates to follow the format.
- Do not read too many ready-made CVs before writing your own one as you risk composing another clichéd copy.
- Try to be honest with your potential job givers
Once you have put all sections together, it does not mean that your CV is finished. To ensure that the CV is perfectly tailored to the position you are applying for, compare the content with the job description.
Use a highlighter to mark all the aspects that agree with the job specifications. Scan the CV thoroughly to check that you have mentioned the following:
- Personal qualities that will be appreciated in the field
- Pertinent achievements and skills
- Relevant educational experience
- Awareness of job postings
If you are ready to advance your job position or make a change in your career history, our writing agency offers all-around support in preparing different types of job application papers. Build your career with our professionals without delay!
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