What do employers want in a CV? What should be the tone of writing in your CV? How should your CV look? Should you add a photograph to make it look more appealing?
Writing a good CV can be one of the toughest challenges of job hunting. Most employers spend just a few seconds scanning each CV before sticking it in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ pile.
It is therefore important that your CV makes a good first impression and compels the potential employer to put your CV in the “yes” pile and possibly call you in for an interview.
Is your CV going to make it to the “yes” pile?
Evaluate your CV with the following questions in mind:
1. Is your CV in the correct format to best showcase your career history?
A CV format is simply the style of writing you employ to communicate your work experience. What should follow the other? What style is the most professional?
For someone with five or more years of experience, a resume will typically be one to two pages. It isn’t at all uncommon for executive-level resumes to be as long as three or four pages. If you are a recent college graduate one page may suffice, but don’t be afraid to go two pages, particularly if you have some work, internship, or volunteer experience under your belt.
There are different types of formats you can use when writing your CV. Do your research and find out what is most acceptable. If in doubt, consult a professional CV writer who is aware of the industry trends, and thus will guide you better.
2. Is your CV visually appealing and easy to read?
Let your CV be uniform throughout. The font size and style should be similar. The font size of a standard CV should fall somewhere between 9 and 11.
Some of the best and most professional fonts are Garamond, Times New Roman, and Palatino. Don’t mix font sizes because not all employers want to see that.
Also, ensure that your CV has white spaces. Don’t have one long paragraph with 8 lines without breaking it up. White spaces make it easier for the employer to read through your CV, as it does not strain the eyes.
Implement appropriate design elements such as bolding where necessary, especially on titles.
3. Does your CV contain a powerful opening section that draws the reader in?
What’s the most relevant information you want to communicate to the employer? Whatever that is, it should be in a summary or professional profile in the top 1/3 of your CV.
This is where you emphasize your core competencies and your related hard and soft skills.
Does your CV make clear what position, industry, or career you are targeting? Employers don’t have time to guess where you want to be in 5 years. Therefore, make it clear what position you are targeting and support that with your experience.
4. Does your CV effectively communicate your value to the prospective employer in one or more ways?
Does your CV demonstrate how you can help the employer make money, save money, or solve a specific problem? Does it demonstrate how you can help the employer to make work easier, build relationships, be more competitive, attract, or retain customers?
Regardless of the job, the employer wants you to help them accomplish their goals. Therefore, sell yourself as a problem solver, a partner, an innovator, and an asset that the company must have.
5. Does your CV contain powerful, concise accomplishment-oriented writing designed to increase the reader’s interest and stimulate an interview invitation?
Is your CV targeted or tailored for the role? Does it support your job or career goal? Does it use persuasive high impact statements that sell your qualifications as a superior candidate?
Your accomplishments on your CV should communicate that you are the best in the field.
6. Is irrelevant information excluded?
Marital status, age, and unrelated hobbies and skills are some of the irrelevant information that shouldn’t be in your CV. Your CV should communicate serious business that is direct and straightforward to the main agenda, which is securing the job.
7. Does your CV present relevant content in an organized fashion?
Generally, you’ll only need to cover the last 10 years of your work experience and if you have more years, you can summarize them.
Employers are more interested in your current experience. Also, are your employment dates presented appropriately? Have you included more than one source of contact information?
All these are key elements of a CV that should not be missing.
8. Is your CV free of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammatical errors?
The moment an employer sees any funny spelling mistakes they start losing interest.
There’s no harm in asking your friend to go through your CV to give you their advice. Better still; have your CV reviewed for free by a professional here.
Your CV is a material representation of you. It is a marketing document that tells organizations how you can contribute to their success. If unsure of how to go about writing your CV, consult a CV writing professional today!