Curriculum Vitae, or ‘The course of your life’ in Latin, is a structured overview of your life and a must when applying for work, as it is a standartized tool employers use to screen candidates - potential employees.
A good CV will not only stand out, but it might also increase your chances of getting invited for an interview or even hired. Here are 5 tips on how to make yours perfect.
The right structure and formatting
On average a recruiter spends 30 seconds on a CV, scanning through hundreds of CVs every day. So how you visually present your skills matters.
- Font of the text should not be bigger than 11 or 12, and the sentences are best kept short and simple.
- Don’t take up too much space - a good CV should not be longer than two A4 pages, preferably - only one.
- There is probably nothing worse than finding spelling or grammar mistakes in a CV, especially if you are applying for a position with foreign language which you state to be proficient in. Triple-check your CV after you are done writing it and give it to a friend to look through once again to be sure.
- The title of your CV should be your Name and Surname, don’t include such words as ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’.
Be honest & keep it real
Even though lying on a CV is quite a common practise, you will be in big trouble if you get caught (yes, even if it’s a white lie, so don’t even say you’re proficient in excel if you are not). Keep it real, show off your best traits and skills, but do not get too honest and don’t include any negative information or bad experiences you have had career-wise.
The right content and context
No matter how good the CV looks from the outside, the content of it is what truly matters and when good content is wrapped in the right context, you are guaranteed to succeed. Keeping in mind the position you are applying for, show off your education (seminars, certificates, awards included) and key skills which will help you excel at the job, and most importantly - state your experience in terms of achievements rather than responsibilities, though include those as well.
A personal statement is a separate section in the beginning of your CV with your name, professional title and contact details. It can also include a short description of who you are and what your career objective is. In short, it is there to show how your experience relates to the job you are applying for and what you can offer to the company.
Keep it up to date
A CV should not be written in stone, but updated and adjusted as time goes by and your life cycle as well as positions you are applying for change. For example, as you acquire new experience, include only the most recent or relevant one for the position you are applying for.