When I first heard of the word “CV”, I became curious; ‘CV’ as an abbreviation means Curriculum Vitae. Your Curriculum Vitae is as unique as you! However, it is very easy to fall into a formula that leaves it at the bottom of the pile. To make sure this never happens to you, make sure you follow this CV checklist to make it stand out!
MAKE IT UNIQUE
Your CV should demonstrate your individual skill and experience. It should also grab the employers attention. Think of a paper that has a slightly different cast to the usual white – you may use tinted paper. Don’t forget about the font, keep it slick and readable, but you don’t have to follow the usual choices expected. Remember risk-taking can be an asset to a certain extent.
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Much like the font, the layout is key to a good CV. To make sure the employer understands the full extent of what you can offer, they have to be able to read it. Being ambiguous would do no good. Simple formats work best at doing this. Try looking at templates to help you.
GIVE IT A GOOD FOCUS
Ask yourself which industry it is, then tailor your CV. Make sure your relevant experience is seen first to grab the employer’s attention. Don’t worry if you feel like you have no relevant experience. Instead, emphasize how the skill you do have is an asset to the job you’re applying for. So, if you’re applying for a teaching position and you’ve worked in a retail shop, don’t be afraid. “Your ability to think fast and resolve an issue with an irate customer has given you a knack for initiative valuable for diffusing classroom dramas.” It is pertinent to note that in our world today, skills are gaining more relevance in the labour market. So if you’ve got skills, develop them.
EDIT, EDIT, EDIT.
Grammatical mistakes and mishaps are the first things employers look for in a CV. If your CV looks rushed and ill-planned, it immediately turns off an employer no matter how qualified you are. In fact, employers are quick to trash a resume with mistakes regardless of experience, in favour of someone who has put effort and time into their work. Make sure all contact information is correct, including addresses, phone numbers and emails and avoid conflicting dates. Make sure you take time to go over the process, this displays your eagerness for the job.
Make sure you update your CV often. You must make sure all your experience is regularly refreshed to meet the job requirements you’re applying for. Take this time to also check over old information, edit and make sure all your contact details are up to date. Can you imagine if you got the job but the phone number you gave is old and unused? I can imagine the feeling.
The general rule of thumb is that your CV should not exceed 2pages. Employers have to look at many and have neither the time nor energy to read your novel of a resume. Make sure the experience you list is relevant to the job. However, if you have lots of appropriate skills, going over 2pages is fine. It’s all about being concise and precise.
ACHIEVEMENTS, NOT DUTIES.
Your CV should sell you achievements or accomplishments as an individual. Try to avoid making your CV sound like a job description. Focus on what you did and its positive outcome. Using ‘active’ language instead of ‘passive’ language makes your CV sound more dynamic. This makes you sound like a doer, rather than someone who was just involved.
Get to work and go get that dream job!