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Whether you’re fresh out of university or planning a career change, writing a CV can be challenging. How long should it be? What information should you include or omit? Here are three tips to help you create a super-charged CV.
Top 3 Tips to Super Charge your CV
Make Your CV Concise and Easy to Scan
Many people are intimidated by the idea of writing a CV because they assume it needs to be lengthy. Yes, some CVs are 15+ pages, but these are typically for researchers, academics and doctors who may have extensive publication histories. On average, CVs are just three pages long.
It’s important not to get hung up on page numbers, and focus instead on how you’re presenting your information.
Your CV should be concise and easy to scan.
The goal is to provide the reader with as much information as possible without forcing him or her to read through a wall of text.
Break your CV up into relevant sections that cover your: education, career summary, professional profile, and qualifications. Each section should have a title, and that title should be bold and in a slightly larger font for easy reading.
Whenever possible, use bullet points to highlight your most important information. Make good use of white space to ensure that each section is adequately separate and easy to read.
Don’t Forget to Include Your Achievements
No CV is complete without a list of achievements. Your accomplishments are what make you stand out as a candidate, and will demonstrate the value you will bring to the company.
Be sure to include achievements for each of the roles you list in your career summary, or you can highlight all of your accomplishments in a separate section. Use active verbs when describing these achievements, and focus on events that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Whenever possible, include numbers or percentages (i.e. Helped XYZ Company improve their profits by 5%).
A Professional Profile is Essential
Most recruiters and CV writers agree: a professional profile is essential to a good CV. A professional profile will not only help you engage with the reader, but also highlight your core competencies and skills. Many recruiters call it the “elevator pitch.”
To be effective, your profile needs to demonstrate who you are as a candidate, and should clearly define your experience and background. The profile should be written in the third person to ensure that it sounds professional, and it should be no longer than six lines.
Because your profile is brief, it’s important to use this space wisely. Tailor your profile to match the job, and make sure that any relevant experience or skills stand out to the hiring manager.
Writing a CV is no easy task, but it’s also one that should not be taken lightly. Take your time. You may be in a hurry to land a job, but your CV is your ticket to get you in the door. Revise and edit your CV until you have something that can effectively help you land an interview and hopefully, the job.