Want to land that job you’ve always dreamed of? Use these tips to create a perfect CV that will reflect your unique skills, education, and relevant experience.
When you’re applying for your dream job, your resume can be the most useful tool that can help you get an interview with the hiring manager. But, how can you be sure that your CV will be added to the interview pile rather than ignored and thrown straight in the trash? Short answer: You create an excellent CV.
Putting together a successful CV that captures the attention of hiring managers is easy once you know how to do it. It all comes down to taking all your skills, experience, and education and tailoring them to the job you’re applying for.
Writing a good CV can be one of the toughest challenges of job hunting. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Read these tips for creating a perfect CV that gets stuck in the “Yes” pile and secures you an interview.
First things first, a good resume starts with a good structure.
Here, content hierarchy is critical in making hiring managers keep in mind those most important details that set you apart from other candidates for the same role. Moreover, a good structure keeps the reader engaged, ensuring that your CV gets more than a few seconds of screening from the hiring manager.
Introduction: highlight what you can offer to a prospective employer;
Skills overview: use bullet points to list your unique skills and experience that are relevant to the role;
Highlight work history: include work history that underlines your relevant experience for the position;
List training and education: add relevant education for the role;
Add a personal touch: mention your interests/ hobbies or any other details about your personality outside of work.
Any other structure works as long as it highlights your experience, education, certifications, achievements, and special skills.
Make it no longer than two pages
A good rule of thumb to create a great CV is to keep its length at two pages or less. In other words, make sure to be clear and concise.
Did you know that the average time spent screening a CV is about 5-7 seconds? Not only that one tiny mistake can quickly make your resume end up in the bin, but a long CV will also never get read by the hiring manager. Recruiters don’t have too much time to read five pages about every candidate. So, you need to make sure that you use words right to say as much as possible in less than two pages.
What’s more, you should also pay attention to the font and size of the text. Plus, take care of the layout, headings, and spacing to make your CV more attractive. These tiny details are, in fact, crucial as they can make your resume easy to read and more engaging, ensuring that the recruiter will dedicate more than 5-7 seconds to reading it.
For example, if you’re applying for a copywriting position, the job posting may include keywords like “writing skills”, “creativity”, “web content writing”, or “search engine optimization”. If that’s the case, make sure that your resume also includes the exact keywords, as recruiters will definitely look for them.
Using relevant keywords in your resume will make it easier for the recruiter to form a positive opinion about how fit you are for the role. However, make sure that you don’t simply list keywords if they don’t truly represent your previous experience just for the purpose of grabbing attention. If you genuinely have no experience in the industry, recruiters will eventually find out that you just used keywords in a smart way.
Use active language
Using active voice when writing your resume is another strategy to make you more desirable in the eyes of recruiters. What’s more, you should use power words like “achieved”, “earned”, “completed”. A synonym dictionary will be your best friend as you write your CV, helping you find the right words to say something big in fewer words.
For example, instead of saying, “During my time at X company, I ran various team-based projects and helped all my colleagues with multiple tasks associated with our projects.”, say “Led multiple team-based projects and efficiently coordinated every group task.”
Shortening your ideas, and using powerful words to highlight your achievements, will help you stay clear and concise while also grabbing the attention of the recruiters.
Convert it into PDF format
If there are no application directions requiring you to use another file format, convert your resume to PDF format before sending it.
One of the biggest advantages of sending your resume as a PDF file is that you can rest assured that all the formatting remains the same. You can be sure that the document will appear exactly as you designed it when the recruiter opens it, no matter the device used. What’s more, PDF files can also be opened no matter the file reader software installed on the receiver’s device, be it a laptop, computer, or mobile device.
Don’t worry about not being able to edit your resume once you convert it into a PDF file. There are various tools online that allow you to edit, rearrange pdf pages, and make any change you’d like.
Proofread before sending
No matter what type of content you’re writing for professional purposes, be it a CV or a follow-up email after your interview, make sure to double-check it before clicking on the “Send” button. Even a small spelling mistake can make you look unprofessional in the eyes of recruiters.