Do you know how to create a memorable CV (Curriculum Vitae) that will help you stand out among job candidates and attract the attention of the HR manager? Most applicants believe they have done enough to write a perfect CV, but in most cases, their CV is just another one from the list. None of your real skills are pointed out, workplaces and education are mixed, and the person who reads it can hardly understand what position you are applying for.
How do a CV and Resume Differ?
First things first: a CV and a resume are not the same thing. The main differences between CV and resume are as follows:
- A CV usually takes 2–3 pages, while a resume generally should not exceed 1 page
- The CV is mainly concentrated on your accomplishments, while a resume mainly deals with the skills required for a certain position
- A CV may be used for various purposes (scholarships, college applications, etc.), while a resume is always used for job applications only
- In a CV, you can add such information as awards, grants, certifications, and accomplishments, while a resume needs that space saved for something else
To create the perfect CV, you need to remember five tips that have been tried by thousands of applicants and now are used by everyone who wants to find a job quickly.
5 Tips for the Perfect CV
1. Make It Clear and Easy to Read
According to the latest statistics, employers spend only 8 seconds scanning your CV. That means you need to do everything possible to catch their attention in the very first second. If you fail to do that, you won’t be able to change that. Therefore, your first task is to organize your CV properly.
- Use Dividing Blocks
Remember that information is easily captured only if it is clearly divided. It is better to give a title for every block of information. For example, if you write about your education, you need a title that indicates what this block is about.
- Use Chronological Order
All information should be presented in chronological order. Start with your most recent place of employment and move up from there to the first one.
2. Keep It Short and Informative
Even though a CV is more extensive than the resume, it should never take up more than 3 pages. A good rule of thumb is to make sure every detail is informative. If you write about your responsibilities, highlight the most important ones that suit the position you’re applying for. Never add details that tell nothing about your professional expertise or skills.
3. Cover the Essence of Your Career First
If you don’t know how to start your CV, it’s always better to introduce some information that will reflect your achievements and skills. Add this directly to the first passage. Professionals recommend concentrating on the strongest points that are relevant to your current application
Don’t forget to include some prominent results you have achieved. It’ll help to prove that you are a real expert; remember, a brilliant career is not about words but about actions.
4. Mind Your Format
Employers always pay attention to the details. They will appreciate it if you obey the rules of proper formatting. Use one font and color, avoid using too much bold or italicized text, and be careful with the size of font.
Stick to the rules of classic organization of information. For example, your contact information should be at the top of the page, and you should indicate the position as the title for your CV.
5. Never Exaggerate or Lie
There is a tendency among young candidates to exaggerate some information about their skills and achievements. If you really want to take the position, it’s always better to provide truthful information. It’s easy to check whether you have really achieved something significant working for a company, and your skills will be tested during the interview.
If the employer notices that some of the information is fake, he would hardly continue to negotiate with you. Moreover, you can jeopardize future prospects with that company, and will never get a second chance to work there.
Make sure that you’ve checked your CV for mistakes. Use a professional proofreading service if you are not sure of the quality of your writing.
These 5 tips are easy to remember, but not all of them are easy to stick to. However, if you follow them, you will create a CV that will attract employers’ attention, and get positive feedback for your application.
About the Author
Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media, and blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on his blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.