10 Expert CV Writing Tips & Advice for 2021
Before beginning the process of updating or writing your CV / Resume, you must start thinking of it as a personal advert for your brand. Your CV / Resume will be the first, and possibly the last impression an employer gets of you. It should effectively display the qualifications, experience, skills and qualities that show you to be the best person for the job. We have compiled 10 CV writing tips that you can follow when creating your CV, to make sure you grab and keep your future employer’s attention.
What should your CV include?
An effective CV / Resume includes:
- Targeted personal profile / objective
- Sections covering education
- Your qualifications
- Industry relevant certifications
- Key skills / Achievements
- Professional memberships
- Full details of previous employment.
Write the CV in a concise but descriptive style that is not just a series of bullet points.
When it comes to presentation, ensure the CV / Resume looks professional, but that key information stands out. Don’t try anything too radical with the fonts or colours and get the document proofread before sending.
For more help, check out our range of CV Writing Services.
CV Writing Tips
1. Keep it short and concise
Before you start, choose the right structure for your CV / Resume. The most critical information, such as your key skills / qualification and recent experience, needs to be near the top, where it can be seen straight away. Sections to include would be Personal Profile, Achievements, Special Skills (languages / computers), Education, Training, and Interests.
Your CV / Resume does not have to be just two pages. Exceptions are depending on the length of employment history, etc. But remember if you haven’t caught the reader’s interest by page two, then they probably won’t read any further anyway.
Clear, attractive presentation is important if your CV / Resume is to stand out. Ensure that the document is uncluttered with key points easy to spot. Use some bullet points and keep the sentences relatively short. Some ‘white space’ around the borders and between each section makes the information easier on the eye.
3. Employment History
Ensure your employment history is in date order putting the most recent first.
If you had a couple of months of break in your employment period, you might leave that out from your CV. Do not go into too much detail concerning positions you held over 10 years ago unless of course, it’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.
However, do not lie about an employment period to cover up for any time off in your career. If you had a significant employment gap, acknowledge these with a short explanation.
4. Include many facts and examples
On your CV or Resume, don’t forget to list your achievements, responsibilities and results. Talk about results, what difference does your presence make? For example, “Boosted sales by 20% in the first year or saved the company millions by implementing a new scheme”, and always try to back it up with instances of how and when this was achieved.
5. Mention your skills only once Not just lists
Include specific skills, such as languages, administrative or computing skills, in a separate section on your CV or Resume. Then do not re-list them for every job you’ve used them in. This is particularly so for IT. Lists of tools and packages make dull reading.
6. Put yourself into your CV
Remember, the employer wants a sense of the kind of person you are, as well as your skills and experience. Are you punctual, conscientious, or motivated? Do you rise to a challenge? With each point on the CV or Resume you write, ask yourself “What does this say about me?”
7. Check before sending
Before sending your CV or Resume, always check for errors. Run a spell and grammar check and ask someone else to proofread it for you. Any employer is not going to believe you’re a good communicator if what their reading is full of spelling and grammar mistakes.
8. Tailor your CV
You don’t have to use the same CV every time. You should have two or three versions, each adapted for the type of job you are applying for. It isn’t a case of one-size-fits-all, and each company will have their own criteria. Before applying, review, the selection criteria or job advert and then adapt your CV to highlight what is most relevant.
9. Introduction Letter
Always send a covering letter or email with your CV. This should highlight the two or three areas of experience that are most relevant to the advertised job and allow you to explain your reasons for applying.
10. Be Honest
Although you want to present yourself well, don’t go too far embellishing the truth. No one likes a liar, especially in the workplace, just remember to highlight anything, which is relevant to the job and let your CV / Resume do the rest.
Are you ready to write your CV?
We have reviewed, written and analysed thousands of CVs, Resumes and LinkedIn profiles for individuals at all levels. So when it comes to CVs, we are confident that we can give you the best advice that will help you land in your dream job.
Make sure to follow our CV writing tips, and avoid any CV Mistakes when applying to a new position. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free review.
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