A CV (short for curriculum vitae) is a document that sums up all your qualifications, skills, and (work) experience. It’s usually the first thing recruiters scan through when they’re looking for candidates for a job or internship. So, if you want to be sure to rock that first impression on paper, keep reading and find out some small but effective tips on how to boost your CV!
What does a professional CV look like?
A professional CV is kept short and sweet and avoids using any complicated fonts or graphics. It is also easy to read and accounts for no more than two pages in length.
Make sure to structure your CV in a way that highlights your most relevant skills and experience, and include a personal statement.
Tip: If you need more detailed information on how to design your CV, be sure to also check out this article.
Why is it so important to have a good CV?
Having a good CV is very important because it is usually the first thing employers check out when receiving a potentially interesting application. It is a representation of yourself on one or two pages which ideally gives recruiters the idea that you’re a qualified candidate for the job.
As previously mentioned, it does so by stating your skills and experience, but also by giving some more insights into you as a person: your interests, maybe some special extracurricular activities, or some more details about your personality.
What does a good CV look like?
When it comes to creating a good CV, there are a few key things you should keep in mind.
First, make sure that it is clear and concise. You don’t want to include too much information, because this will only clutter up your CV which in turn can make it difficult for employers to read.
Second, be sure to include all relevant information, such as your work experience and education. If you have a specific skill or experience that is relevant to the job you’re applying for, make sure to mention it in your CV.
Third, decide whether you want to put a photo into your CV. It is not necessary per se, but it can help your CV stand out from the pile and make a strong first impression. However, including a photo takes up valuable space on your CV that could be better used to showcase your skills and experience.
This of course also depends on how long you want your CV to be. Most CVs are one to two pages long. Some companies require one-page resumés, so be sure to read through the application details before you start editing your CV.
Last but not least, don’t forget to proofread your CV before sending it off! A few small typos can easily make your CV look unprofessional, so be sure to take the time to check for any errors.
What are common mistakes people make on their CV?
There are a few common mistakes people make when it comes to writing their CVs, such as not tailoring their CV to the specific job they are applying for.
→ What’s for that, there’s one tip we’d like to give you here: include keywords from the job posting in your CV so that employers can see that you are a good fit for the position!
Another mistake people frequently make is not including enough details about their previous work experience.
→ You should always mention your job title, the dates of employment, and a brief description of your duties!
The third common mistake many people make is forgetting to proofread their CV.
→ Be sure to check for any grammar and spelling errors that might have slipped in so that your CV makes a good impression on potential employers!
What are the top 5 ways to boost your CV?
Having kept in mind all of the above, how to improve your CV in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd? Well, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as how to approach improving your CV may vary depending on your individual situation and experience. However, here are some general tips that could help you:
1. Highlight your key skills and strengths
When employers are reviewing CVs, they will be looking for evidence of the skills and qualities that are most relevant to the role they are recruiting for. Make sure that your CV clearly highlights your key skills and strengths, so that employers can see at a glance whether you are a good fit for the role.
→ Extra tip: here is where you can find out how to include your suitable hard skills for the job you are applying for, as well as how to include language skills in your CV
2. Use a professional format
Your CV should be presented in an easy-to-read format. Avoid using fancy fonts or graphics, as these can be off-putting to employers. Generally speaking, choose a clean and simple font that is easy to read, like Cambria or Lato, and avoid using multiple fonts or excessive formatting which can make your CV appear cluttered. Stick to a simple format that will allow employers to quickly scan your CV and pick out the most important information.
Tip: To make your life much easier, you could give these free CV makers and free resumé templates a try. Tools like these help you to create your CV in a style and way that is both unique and professional. And it might save you some time you would normally need for formatting or designing!
3. Tailor your CV to the job position
When you are applying for different roles, it is important to tailor your CV to each of those. This means customizing your CV in order to highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the specific job you are applying for. This will show employers that you have a good understanding of the role and are a strong candidate for the position.
4. Use examples
When you are describing your skills and experiences, it is always helpful to use examples and quantifiable evidence to back up your claims. This will make your CV more convincing and will give employers a better understanding of your abilities.
For example, if your former position was a project manager, you might want to include some more details on (some of) the projects you’ve worked on. You could also include numbers, such as the annual revenue worth you’ve generated through the delivered projects or other. If you want to have a look at some more examples of CVs including (quantifiable) evidence, check out this link or the picture below.
5. Keep your CV up to date
Make sure that you keep your CV up to date with your latest qualifications, work experiences, and skills. Employers will be looking for evidence of your most recent and relevant experiences, so it is important to make sure that your CV is up to date.
Tip: Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date and thus aligned with your CV since recruiters generally check out both!
Writing and designing a new CV might be a bit of a hassle, but rest assured it will pay off! Recruiters pay great attention to clearly structured CVs that state all relevant information in a precise way without giving away too many details.
Be sure you tailor your CV to the specific position you’re applying for and keep all relevant data up to date! You also might consider trying out a CV maker or some free online resumé formats, as those come in handy when it comes to a quick and effective way of figuring out how to make a professional CV.
By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your CV will be impressive and will help you get one step closer to landing your dream job. That being said, good luck!
Now that you’ve mastered how to write a perfect CV, you’re ready for the next step! Here are some tips on how to prepare for a successful interview, as well as some frequently asked questions and tips on how to answer them, which will help you ace your next interview!