Tips For Improving Your CV
Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of updating and improving your CV? When it comes to applying for a new job, a great CV is the first way to make you stand out from the other applicants and get your foot in the door. Your CV should function as a tool to highlight your accomplishments, so you don’t want simple mistakes to prevent you from getting a face-to-face interview.
Below are some tips to help you create and refresh your CV:
1. Less Is More
Keep in mind that the person reviewing your CV likely has a lot of them to look over, so you should limit your CV to a maximum of two A4 pages. Having only a couple of pages does not signify that you aren’t qualified, but rather it shows that you know how to list your top skills in a concise manner. The “sweet spot,” or the area that employers usually look at first, is the top middle of the page. This is where you should list your most relevant and recent job experience.
2. Edit Your CV To Fit The Job
You don’t need to include past job experience that isn’t relevant, especially if you are short on space.
Study the qualifications that the job is asking for, and only list jobs and experience that are relevant to the job in which you are applying. If the listing says that they want someone who is hardworking and works well in a team, try to use these keywords to signify that you read the listing and you fit the requirements.
3. Double-Check Spelling and Grammar
Since your CV is usually the first impression that the company will have of you, you want them to focus on your accomplishments and not on your spelling errors. A great way to show your keen attention to detail is by having a CV that doesn’t have grammatical errors. Nobody is perfect, but if possible it is always helpful to have someone look over your CV before you submit it. If that’s not an option there are great websites, such as Grammarly, that can help you fix your mistakes.
While you do want your CV to stand out from the other applicants, multiple bright and bold colors aren’t the positive way to do it. To help increase the readability, you should limit your CV to one basic color for the main text. If you want to you can include a heading in a different color, but it is always best to keep it simple. Remember that your words and experience on their own should make you stand out more than your text color! In addition, using a template makes your lines look cleaner and more organized, and will be easier for someone to read. When listing job descriptions and skills, make sure you’re using short and concise sentences to highlight the most important details of the job (for examples see here) and avoid making your CV look cluttered.
5. Update Your CV
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you should always check your CV to ensure that it has all of your most recent job experience and accomplishments. Keeping it updated on a regular basis is the easiest way to keep your CV accurate, and this will help you with remembering even small achievements that could be relevant for job applications. By keeping things updated, you will ensure that you’re ready to send out your CV any time your dream job comes along.
6. Highlight Skills
A good CV isn’t just about job experience, it’s about the skills you have. Depending on the position you are applying for, highlight all skills you have that would be relevant and feel free to give a specific example of how you have used this skill in the workplace. Important skills to highlight are your experiences with problem solving, management, administration, creativity, and communication. If you’re interested in learning more about how to highlight your skills, we’ve compiled a list of examples here!
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