Given that you spend a majority of your waking hours at work, your CV is one of the most important documents you own. Think about how much time you have dedicated to your career and how much effort it has taken you to get to where you are today. In relation to that, the time you spend on updating and refining your CV is probably well invested. Below are some tips that may help you get off to a good start in writing or updating your CV.
1. A common
misconception is that a CV should fit into one page. Fact of the matter is that
the format of a CV varies depending on the role, the sector and the country.
Don’t try to fit your CV into one or two pages if it doesn’t fit. It’s also important that the information is relevant, well-structured and concise, something we will cover later in this segment.
2. Don’t leave gaps in your CV and don’t remove positions that you have held that you don’t feel are relevant to your potential employer. That can give the impression that you are trying to cover something up and the employer will make their own (often negative) assumptions.
3. Don’t use more than two different fonts and make sure there is a logical and chronological order in the CV. To use a creative layout to separate yourself from others often makes more harm than good. A concise, clean and an eye-friendly format is most beneficial to the person that reads your CV.
4. Use bullet points to high light and ideally quantify your career achievements. It will show that you have the ability to communicate effectively and understand what companies will measure you on.
5. Go through a spelling check and remove any red subtext that indicates grammar mistakes if the program doesn’t recognize it. Let someone else proofread your CV to spot mistakes the computer program may have missed.
1. Avoid text with no clear purpose or avoid information that is self-evident. An example of things you can leave out are “references will be given upon request” as it’s self-evident that you will provide references if it comes to that stage in the process. Vague statements such as team player, result oriented, goal focused should also be left out unless they are backed up by relevant and factual examples that provide context. Instead, you can focus on concrete examples of what you have achieved and how an employer would benefit by hiring you.
2. Avoid incorporating a general motivational statement in your CV. Since you may apply for different vacancy’s there is a risk that the statement becomes very broad and irrelevant and will take up space that can be better used for something else. There is also a risk that the wrong conclusion will be drawn from the statement as it may not align with the specific company or role you are applying for.
3. What should be the focus in your CV is to highlight the successes you have had in your career, and in a concise way account for what you did to achieve these results. This way of communicating is easier for some roles, such as for example sales positions, but will be more difficult in roles where performance isn’t as easily measurable. One way to get started is to begin with your current or last employment and write down the three greatest advantages you provided your employer with and that separated you from your colleagues.
4. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your employer and think of examples why someone would hire you instead of someone else. If it’s because of your work ethic, then bring up concrete examples of that. If it’s because of your creativity, think about examples where you can provide concrete examples of what your creativity has brought to the table. Have you made money for the company or have you saved money for the company? Has your technical ability provided a competitive edge and how? These are just some examples that can help you think in ways that will bring concreate examples of how you can be beneficial to a potential employer.
When it comes to submitting your application, make sure to highlight the key experience or traits that is beneficial for landing the job. If you apply via email it can be beneficial to paste your application letter into the mail as it’s common for hiring managers to skip the letter and go straight to the CV. Consider using one or two bullet points that brings out your key advantages. If you write a personal letter, then think about highlighting experience and personal traits that are relevant to the position. Avoid vague wording and provide evidence of your statements. Instead of for example writing that you are proactive and result oriented you can write that it comes natural for you to be proactive because you grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. You can also write that you are result oriented and that this was an advantage in your last role as project manager when you continuously had to deal with clear financial goals and deadlines. If you want more insight don’t hesitate to contact any of our consultants.