17 May Your Perfect CV
We all know the job market can be extremely competitive. While hundreds of applicants are all vying for just a handful of positions, a strong CV can mean the difference between landing a job and simply being skipped over the pile. Your CV is the opportunity to display your skills, prior work experience and give the impression you are the best candidate for the role. Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? But actually, there is a fine line between providing valuable information and actually hindering your chances. Whether you’re just getting started, or fine-tuning your CV, have a look at a few simple tips.
1- Be consistent
Consistency is key in so many realms of life and CV writing is no different. This means, maintaining the same font, size, spacing, etc. throughout the document. If you use a standard bullet in one section, don’t switch to checkmarks in the next. It can be distracting and leaves the employer with the feeling you are unorganized and perhaps unprofessional. For CV writing, we recommend using Arial and always keeping the font black.
2- Keep it relevant
Listing prior work experience is beneficial for the employer, as it shows you are able to commit to a role where you’ve maintained various responsibilities and acted professionally. More importantly however, is keeping those experiences relevant. If you are applying for an internship geared towards Finance, an employer is likely uninterested in your summer job washing cars. Think of the experiences you’ve had with transferable skills, which can be applied to your new role.
3- Get to the point
A CV is neither a cover letter, nor your memoir. You should be able to describe, in a few concise bullet points, the main responsibilities of your previous roles. Imagine an employer has received 200 applicants; they are more likely to skim your CV than read each word in detail. Ditch the “fluff” and keep the necessities. In summary, keep it concise, relevant and informative.
4- Be professional
Your CV is essentially your first impression to an employer, so you want to make it as strong as possible. A few tips on professionalism: no colored fonts, do not include a photo (unless asked), do not use the email address of your current employer and finally, make sure your email address is indeed professional, i.e. do not use firstname.lastname@example.org. If needed, take a few minutes to create a Gmail or Yahoo! account including your first and last name.
5- Be honest
Never lie on your CV! You will inevitably get caught. Save yourself the hassle of having to backtrack through your web of lies, by being honest upfront. Your employer needs to know they can trust you and your capacity to work with integrity.
5- No references required
There is no need to include references on your CV or a line stating ‘’References Available Upon Request’’. Rest assured, if a recruiter is interested in hearing from your past employers, they will ask.
Want to read another career related blog post? – Check out some previous posts written by students:
Photo credits: Photo by the Italian voice, CC-BY-2.0