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How To Write a Better CV - Top 8 Tips

CV stands for curriculum vitae, which is Latin for 'the course of your life'. The CV, or the resume as the Americans name it, is the marketing document that you market your skills and get your self an interview with.

Given that a a job vacancy is usually competed for by more that 200 applicants on average, writing a better CV requires a lot of care and consideration in order to stand out.

Facing such a high volume of CVs, HR personnel quickly scan each of the CVs. A neat, clear, organized CV leaves a good first impression and convinces the recuriter to spend more time on your CV.

A poorly formatted CV, on the other hand, may get discarded early.

The following tips and advice on how to write a better CV will make it much more neater, organized and give your CV a higher impact and a better chance to stand off the rest:

Tailor and Personalize for the Job #

Make sure to highlight and emphasize your skills and experiences relevant to the job vacancy you are applying for. To write a better CV or resume, you should study the job description properly, and tailor you CV to show your relevant skills and experiences first, instead of generic CVs sent for all jobs.

Avoid Errors #

A CV with basic typo and grammar errors give a very bad first impression about the applicant, and many employers like to use such errors as reasons to discard a CV. Use a tool like MS Word or Grammarly to check and proofread your CV before publishing.

Make it Truthful #

Always be truthful about your skills and experience. It is very easy to write about fictional accounts about your experience. Such fallacies are easily exposed during interviews, or in a worse case, if you are accepted on the job, which something you would want.

Clean and Consistent Formatting #

A neat, properly formatted, consistent CV instantly gives you a much hgher chance of a securing an interview. Here are some key points to keep in mind while formatting your resume:

CV Sections #

A normal CV usually includes the following sections:

  1. Resume head. This includes personal information such as name, address and contact address.
  2. Career Objective. Focus on your skill and experiences and your plans about your future plans. Avoid copying whole texts online, as it looks unnatural in your CV.
  3. Education and Training. List your qualifications in reverse chronological order, with the latest qualification at the top.
  4. Work Experience. Once again, in reverse chronological order, with your current/most recent job at the top. Detail your experience and responsibilities, ideally in bullets.
  5. Languages and Other Skills. List your degree of fluency in the languages you know, plus any other special soft skills and computer/tech skills.

Headings #

Each of the CV sections should ideally start with a heading. Such headings should ideally be bold, with sizes between 16 and 18 points.

Body Font #

Avoid using funky unusal fonts, or fonts which are hard to read in display and print. Font sizes between 10 to 14 points work well, with an appropriate line spacing which enhances readability.

Avoid Placing a Headshot #

Unless the job vacancy specifically instructs a picture with your application, avoid placing one. A poor, unprofessional picture could make an employer get a bad first impression, which in turn hurts your chances of an interview.

Justify Gaps #

Any gaps in your work history should be justified, for cases such as training, career break etc., as it could leave potential employers suspicious and wondering what where you doing.

Keep it Updated #

Update your CV on a cyclic basis, biweekly on monthly basis, to avoid missing out on significant events.

Utilize Linkedin and Templates #

Use an online CV template or the resume of top figures in your industry from Linkedin for inspiration. Using the best bits from several sources, with your own touch, should get you a great CV.

Agree with the previous points? Share in the comments below any further ideas to write a better CV!