Writing a strong CV requires discipline and self-reflection. Here are a few of PIIRH’s keypointerson how to write a successful CV.
Adapt your CV to the job description
Adapt your CV to the job description by highlighting your relevant professional experience, skills and accomplishments. If you are applying for different positions in one or more sectors, customize your CV for each job. Do not give in to the temptation of using the same CV for all of your applications. Making that kind of mistake could hurt your professional image. Take the time to customize your CV based on the job description and the qualities that the employer is looking for. Voltaire warned, “the secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” Showcase the professional experience and skills that paint you in the best light and demonstrate that you fulfill the employer’s requirements. Doing so will increase your chances of being invited for an interview and then being hired for the job. Customizing your application shows the employer that you are truly interested in the position.
If you decide to submit unsolicited applications, use your cover letter to carefully explain why you are interested in the company and what you can offer in return.
Pay special attention to the wording of the job announcement and use those same terms when you describe the professional experience listed on your CV and when you write your cover letter.
Keep it concise. Your CV should make you stand out from the pack in order to help you secure an in-person interview.
Remember that your CV is a tool to help you secure an interview. It is important that you take advantage of this opportunity to make a strong first impression on the recruiter. Keep it concise. You will have plenty of time to describe your professional experience at length during the interview. Choose the most important points and those that best capture your qualifications. Use short sentences and key terms rather than lengthy paragraphs. A strong CV is one that captures and holds the recruiter’s attention.
Reread and edit your application before submitting it. Spelling mistakes can reflect poorly on even the strongest of candidates.
It is all too easy to make grammar mistakes and choose your words poorly. Just because your CV’s content may be excellent does not mean you can afford to make that kind of mistake. Spelling mistakes can cause even a top-notch candidate to lose credibility. When you edit your CV, try printing it out. It is easier to spot mistakes on paper than it is on the computer. If you are planning to submit your application via email, send yourself a test email beforehand to make sure that you can open the attachment and that the formatting is correct.
Do not forget to explain any gaps in your CV as you describe your career path.
It is essential that you are able to explain any gaps in your CV as regards your studies or your work experience. Make sure to mention the year that you spent traveling or times when you were out of work. Keep in mind that the recruiter may ask you to provide proof of your qualifications, such as diplomas, work certificates and the like.
Highlight your hobbies. This is a great way for recruiters to get to know you.
If you love music, write “Baroque music” or “acid jazz” rather than simply writing “music.” Employers like hearing about your hobbies because it lets them get to know you andyour personality. If one of the activities that you listed catches the recruiter’s attention, he or she will surely bring it up during the interview. This is a fantastic opportunity to connect on a personal level.
Ask your friends and family for their input. People who know you best can help you highlight your strengths.
Before you submit your CV, ask one of your friends or family members in the working world to read over your CV. Since they know you well, they will be able to advise you and help youput your best foot forward if you are having a hard time preparing your application.