As I was interviewing a candidate the other day and giving advice on what she would need to do to her CV to make her more marketable it got me thinking about how this girl had probably lost out on so many opportunities over the course of her career due to having a bad CV.
On average a hiring managing will spend approximately 20 seconds looking at your CV before deciding whether they will read on so it’s important to capture their attention early on.
Here are my top 10 tips for writing your CV:
- Put the most important information at the top eg; employment history, qualifications etc. These are the things that a hiring manager will want to know first before deciding if they will continue reading.
- Make sure your employment history is in order with the most recent job being at the top. There is nothing worse than looking at a CV with your employment history all over the place
- Ensure there are no gaps in your employment history, people will wonder why and it could be as simple as that you were travelling, on maternity leave etc
- With each position on your employment history make sure there is a start and end date for your employment with that organisation
- Keep it to a maximum of 3 pages – Hiring managers often get hundreds of CV’s to look over so if they see it’s too long they may not even bother looking at your CV
- Make sure you have all of your qualifications on your CV and the date you obtained these (maybe mentioned something about professional development/ training days and courses- it all helps and shows you are committed to professional development)
- Formatting is so important! I see so many cv’s with crazy fonts that do not look professional. Stick to something like Ariel, calibri etc that is easy to read. Make sure you have the font size the same throughout, bold any headings etc. Make sure it’s ‘easy on the eye’ and readable eg; don’t use big paragraphs, you are better to do bullet points as it reads easier and is quicker for someone to look through
- A picture of you is not essential, for most professions it doesn’t matter what you look like. If you do put a picture on your CV ensure that it is professional looking
- Personal details eg; date of birth, marital status, how many kids you have etc are no longer relevant. Most hiring managers don’t need to know this information at the time of reading your CV
- Don’t use colours – there is nothing worse than looking at a CV on your computer screen with bright red text. Stick to black for a professional look