6 Tips for Creating a Winning CV

A well-written CV is an essential part of a job seekers toolbox. Ultimately, your CV is a marketing tool that will be used to “sell” you to a potential employer by presenting your skills and attributes in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd. Knowing this, it’s important to take the time to make sure your CV is as good as it can be and to ensure that it presents you in a positive light.

Whether you’re writing a CV from scratch or simply want to update your existing one, here are six practical tips to keep in mind when working on your resume.

Cleanliness

This means make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors in the text of your CV. Such mistakes can be considered stains on your professionalism, and you can be sure that potential employers will notice them. Always remember that the presentation of your experience is just as important as your experience itself. Don’t hesitate to have your CV reviewed by somebody who has a mastery of the English language.

Clarity

If you want potential employers to put in the time to really read your CV, it’s important to be clear and concise in your writing. Stick to the essentials and try to craft brief, powerful sentences. Details about your experience are best left for your cover letter. A strong and efficient resume shouldn’t exceed three pages – remember that employers only have a few seconds to decide if they will invest more time in evaluating your CV.

Relevancy

The information contained in your CV should be structured to capture the attention of the reader. List your relevant experiences and trainings that are directly related to the coveted position at the beginning of the CV. Introductory paragraphs and a section about your hobbies are superfluous; recruiters won’t waste their time on reading material that doesn’t correspond directly to the position they’re looking to fill. Save all of this information for the cover letter and/or the interview.

Transparency

It’s crucial that your CV presents an accurate portrayal of your personal and professional profile. Be honest: don’t embellish your experiences and never add false information. Recruiters are experts at picking out questionable claims in a resume. The more authentic and honest you are, the better your chances are of being contacted for an interview.

Discretion

In our culture, it’s inappropriate to add your photo, date of birth or Social Insurance Number to your CV. Make sure to never add these personal details to your CV in order to avoid the possibility of recruiters making biased decisions based on these factors. Ultimately, personal information of this nature has no bearing on your skill set or ability to do the job being applied for and besides, they can always see your photo on LinkedIn.

Simplicity

Avoid using colors, images and non-conventional fonts when designing your CV. Skip irrelevant information and focus on providing important, relevant and necessary information that the recruiter can actually use. That being said, it’s good form to add a personal touch to your CV design to separate yourself from the pack – just a small detail that shows you were paying close attention to the crafting of your CV. Simple is best, but a touch of personalization will help to humanize your CV.

And a final word…

A well-crafted CV shouldn’t be the only tool in your toolbox. Make sure to write detailed, targeted cover letters to accompany your CV for each and every position you apply for.

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