CV is a detailed history of a person’s educational history, work experience,
skills, achievement, and qualifications and it is majorly used when one is
applying for a job. A CV has to be properly written so your account of yourself
if professional, concise and straight to the point and at the same time, potent
enough to grab the attention of the recruiter. Writing a proper CV entails
proper attention to details. There are some things to keep in mind when writing
a CV and they are;
Table of Contents
a CV gives details about all your academic and professional accomplishments,
the main purpose of it is to make the recruiter interested in interviewing you.
It is the first stage for job applicants and it is very important because this
would be your first contact with your potential employer and you have to make a
good impression. It can facilitate the possibility of you getting a job or not.
This is why your CV should be properly thought about and written according to
CV is supposed to be an informative tool as it influences the very first
opinion the recruiter would have of you. There is a standard set of information
that should always be included on a CV and they are;
CV should always include basic information about yourself like your name,
address, telephone number, and a professional email address. If you are
applying for a job in either the US or Canada, that is all you need. For some
other countries like France or Germany, a small passport photograph is to be
included in the top right corner of the CV. This information should be written
in bold fonts and placed at the very top of your CV. In fact, it should be the
first thing a recruiter would see upon checking it.
This is also known as the personal statement section. It is more or less a summary of yourself in a professional and concise manner. In this section, you should talk about your most recent work experience, what you gained from it, and what you look forward to career-wise. Your personal statement should also be a reflection of yourself so it is important that you choose your words well when writing it. It should not be more than 150 words, however.
potential employer would most definitely want to know about your education
background, the jobs you have done in the past and the skills you possess that
would make you better suited for the job.
your education background, your qualifications and degrees should be listed
from the most recent to the oldest. If a degree is still in view, you can also
include it. It gives the recruiter an idea as to what important skill you’ve
obtained so far.
detailing your work experience, you should list out previous jobs starting from
the most recent also. There is no need to include why you left the previous job
so this should not make it into your CV.
Listing out your skills involves taking note of the ones mentioned in the job description by the recruiter and tailoring your skills to align with it. If you have skills that match the ones listed, you should emphasise and highlight it.
This would set you apart from other candidates as it shows the recruiter that you paid attention to the job description and the CV is not generic. If you also have other skills that might be useful to the job for example, if you speak another language, or use a software that can be used to increase productivity at the job, you can include it.
this part of the CV is not that important, it also gives the recruiter an idea
of who you are outside work. It is, however, advisable that you do not include
the common and generic hobbies. Think of something you like doing and phrase it
properly. Don’t use cliches.
after including the important details, you still have space on your CV, you can
go on to include other information about yourself ė.g. If you have served in a
club or professional body, you can include this. It is an added advantage as it
shows leadership skills.
vary from country to country so it is advisable that you make research on what
is expected from you in a CV in the country you are applying for a job in.
countries might expect you to include more details.
you should not forget however is that your CV should be specifically tailored
to meet all demands in the industry you’re applying to.
are things that ought not to make it to your CV and some of them are:
words are sometimes used interchangeably and can be confused for one another
but they are not the same. Although subtle, there are quite a few differences
between the CV and the resume and some of them are:
is a very common question asked by job applicants and there is really no set
answer for this question. The most common one, however, is that a CV should not
be more than 2 pages on a maximum. This decision is informed by the results of
a survey carried out among recruiters.
Also read: How long should a CV be?
for jobs in the academia or in medical positions, there is an unsaid agreement
that the CV would exceed two pages and in this case, it would not be frowned
upon as people in those categories would have many things to include in both
their work experience and educational history category.
you are not in any of these categories and you have a CV that is longer than 2
pages and you are looking for a way to trim it down to 2 pages and still retain
all the important facts, you can follow some of the following tips.
a CV, there is no need to elaborate on your personal life. Keep it simple. Your
name, contact address, email address, telephone number should be boldly stated
at the top of your CV. Also, apart from LinkedIn, no social media account
should be listed in your CV.
should properly read through your CV to be sure that you are not repeating a
point you have mentioned earlier.
recruiter already knows that the CV is referring to you and your past
achievements or previous work experiences so remove redundant words that take
up unnecessary space on your CV.
Recruiters always look out for a candidate that follow the trends and have recent and innovative knowledge that can be applied in their company so list only recent work experiences in your CV.
like this would be requested for if and when needed.
CV has specific formats that are accepted widely. If you are not sure of how a
CV should look like, you can always download some samples and use them as your
guide. Here are some format tips you should keep in mind when writing a CV.
use professional looking fonts like Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman and use a
font size of about 12. Consistency in a CV is vital so you should stick to one
font and font size all through the CV. Ideally, the body of your CV should be
in 10-12 font size while your headings should be between 14 and 18 points.
just congest your CV and clog it up with information. Break everything down
with headings. This makes your CV look orderly and compelling to read. You can
use a bigger font size for the headings so that they would be noticeable and
easy to locate.
are a good way to list out important details like your educational or work
history. By using billeted points, you highlight the points you’re trying to
pass across to the recruiter and it is more visible to read. Your details
should be listed in chronological order, however.
use colored paper and also don’t fold your CV.
Get an envelope that can conveniently accommodate the paper instead.
This makes for a good first impression on your path.
make your CV easy to read, the page margins applied to your CV should be
between 1.27-2.5. Going below 1.27 would just make your CV appear cluttered and
difficult to read. This is a very discouraging factor as it can make the
recruiter lose interest in your CV.
should proofread your CV multiple times before finally sending it. Submitting a
CV with errors does not show professionalism and attention to details. You can
always give close friends to help you proofread or better still, run it through
a grammar checker to be on the safe side.
a generic CV would not get you any close to the interview and ultimately your
dream job. Take your time while writing the CV and make sure it is properly
written to meet the job specifications. Also, use the keywords specified in the
job post. This would give you a chance in the event that the CV is to be vetted
by a computer.
might seem unimportant but it is not. The way you save your CV is the way your
recruiter would receive it in the event that it is been sent via email. It is
better to save it as a PDF file with your names. Ė.g. Melanie Harper CV. A PDF
format is advisable as your intended format would still be retained. Saving your
CV and sending it in MS word format is not advisable as the recruiter can have
other page and margin settings that can disrupt your already set preferences
and make your CV look disorganized and unprofessional.
a CV for a candidate without prior experience is somewhat different from when
one wants to write a normal one. As recent graduates do not have any work
experience, they have to lay emphasis on some other aspects of their CV like
their educational background and skills possessed. This way, the recruiter
would know what you have to offer the organization and determine if you are a
good fit for the job. To give you a better shot at getting a job with little or
no experience, you should follow some of these tips.
taking note of the specific skills needed and including them on your CV (if you
possess these skills) you show the recruiter that you pay attention and it
makes for a good first impression for you as a candidate. Also, the use of the
right keywords would make you scale over vetting in the case that an ATS method
is used to filter down the amount of CVs to be checked by the recruiter. Some
of the most sought after skills to keep in mind are attention to details,
ability to work unsupervised, proper time management, ability to relate easily
with people and work in a team. You can look for other ways to present these
skills of yours so that it doesn’t look generic.
having prior working experience should not deter you from writing a CV of your
own. If you have volunteered somewhere, or taken up an internship position in a
previous time, you can include it in this aspect of your CV. Leadership
positions in organizations are also a major boost. Basically, anything that you
think is important enough to give you leverage over other candidates should be
much as transferable skills can be said to be those skills that are not
directly relevant to the job you are applying for, it does not mean they are
useless. Transferable skills can show your potential employer that you are
willing to learn to make yourself more valuable to the organization.
recruiter sometimes would want to get an idea of who you are via your CV. A CV
that infers an enthusiastic, friendly and cheerful personality would definitely
be chosen over CVs that are lifeless. The recruiter wants to have a feel as to
what kind of person you would be both in and outside the workspace and your CV
is the best way to show this.
CV is your one shot at showing the recruiter that you are a good fit for the
job before the interview so you should endeavor to make it count. Edit multiple
times, proofread properly, use software to do that if need be. Employ any means
necessary to make sure that your CV has no errors that can disqualify you or
make the recruiter lose interest in reading it further. The end goal to look
forward to is making your CV pack a punch. To the extent that even if it is run
through a computer, it would still pass the test. There are several tips you
should put in mind and they can be found on our website.
have a better idea of how a standard CV should be written and in what format it
should be written in, you can go through the samples on our website. These
samples are meant to be guides and should not be copied word for word.
CV must be written in your own words as you are better suited to describe
yourself. This would make your CV more authentic.
If you enjoyed our article and free CV templates, then please do consider sharing it. It means a lot 🙂
Good luck with your job search.
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