Recruiters only glance at CVs for 6 seconds on average, according to studies. Doesn't that sound a little harsh?
You spend days, if not weeks, developing THE PERFECT CV, complete with bells and whistles - a reflection of you in a single page. And what does the recruiter do? They glance it over for a few seconds (again, if lucky) and move on.
It may be unfair, but how are you expected to grab someone's attention in a couple of seconds?
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make your CV, so are you ready?
Just remember; there are no shortcuts.
If you want to perfect your CV, you may need to grease your elbows, put on your reading glasses, and make sure that every little detail is correct. It will be worth it once you have done that. After all, it is a small price to pay for the opportunity to land your ideal career.
You must be wondering, how do I do that?
What is a curriculum vitae (CV)?
Your curriculum vitae, or CV, is a personal marketing document that you use to sell yourself to potential employers. It should include information about you, your professional background, and your talents, abilities, and accomplishments. Finally, it should demonstrate why you are the most outstanding candidate for the job.
When applying for a job, you must provide a CV. Employers may additionally want a cover letter and a completed application form in addition to your CV.
How to write a CV?
While a CV's layout is adaptable to your specific skill-set and experiences, there are certain things that employers expect to see regardless. Still wondering how to make CV? Well, the following sections must be included in your CV:
Name, occupation, and contact information
Your name, professional title, and contact information should appear in the first section of your CV at the top of the page. However, you should never use the terms 'curriculum vitae' or 'CV' in the title of your CV because it wastes essential space. Instead, use your name as the title.
Your email address and phone number are critical for your contact information. It was once common to put your full address on your CV. You only need to list your town and county today.
You can include a link to your LinkedIn profile in this part if you want – but only if it is up-to-date!
Personal profile section of your CV
Your personal profile, career objective, or professional profile is also an important section of your CV. It is a brief paragraph that sits right beneath your name and contact information, offering potential employers an outline of who you are and what you do.
Every position you apply for should be tailored to your profile, with specific qualities that fit you to the role highlighted. Make your statement as brief as possible, no more than a few sentences.
To get the most out of this part, attempt to answer the following questions:
1. What is your name?
2. What services can you provide to the company?
3. What are your professional objectives?
How to write experience in a CV?
In the employment history section, you can describe your previous jobs, internships, and work experience. List your work experience in reverse chronological order on your CV, as your most recent employment is relevant to the company.
List your job title, employer, the dates you worked, and a summary of your responsibilities for each position. Then bullet point your essential duties, talents, and accomplishments, bolstering each claim with strong verbs and figures to demonstrate your influence.
It is a good idea to pick the most relevant duties to the position you are looking for, especially if the list is large. You can lessen the detail of outdated or irrelevant roles if you have a lot of experience. For example, you can delete jobs that were created more than ten years ago.
Qualifications and education
Your education, like your experience, should be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the names of the institutions you attended, the dates you were there, and your qualifications and grades.
If you have recently completed your education, write your degree, A-levels, or GCSEs (or equivalents) as follows:
Name of the institution – Dates of attendance (from-to) Subject/ qualification – Grade
You might list a handful of the most relevant classes, assignments, or projects if you have a degree.
Professionals that are further along in their professions or have a large number of certificates in their portfolio can organise their credentials in the following way:
Year – Institution – Qualification, grade
Additional tips for CV
There are several additional tips for CV that might help build and highlight your CV. If you have room, you can include the following:
Insert a critical talents section beneath your personal profile if you are producing a functional CV or have particular abilities you want to show off to the employer right away. At most, four to five abilities should be listed.
Hobbies and interests: If you think your CV is lacking, add a hobbies and interests section towards the conclusion. This might demonstrate how well you fit into the organisation or sector. For example, if you seek a job in the environmental field, why not mention that you are passionate about climate change activism?
However, avoid including activities that do not bring value to your CV or are commonplace, such as reading. Make use of interests that distinguish you or are pertinent to the job.
References: Adding your referees to the end of your CV, like including an address on your CV, is no longer conventional. You can include a line "references available upon request," but if you do not have enough room, you can skip it entirely.
Essential guidelines for formatting and spacing
Some other tips for CV: If you are unsure how to format your CV, it is good to familiarise yourself with specific CV templates. After all, your CV's layout and space are just as vital as its content.
When writing your CV, keep the following tips for CV in mind:
The standard length of a CV in the United Kingdom is two pages. However, one or three pages may be more appropriate for some experts because one size does not fit all. Each section must be introduced with a large, bold heading to provide an easy read.
Choose a clear font like Calibri or Arial because most employers will get your CV in digital format. You can choose a different font type for your headlines, but keep it professional and easy to read.
The body of your CV should be between 10 and 12 point font, and the headings should be between 14 and 18 points. Maintain page margins of 2.5cm or less, but never less than 1.27cm, or your CV will appear cluttered and difficult to read. White space promotes professionalism and clarity.
Proofreading and consistency: Make sure the formatting is consistent throughout to keep your CV looking professional. Do not let typos and inaccuracies ruin your professional appearance; proofread like an expert to catch every error or invest in clever spellcheckers like Grammarly.
Customisation, keywords, and applicant tracking systems: It is fine to keep a generic copy of your CV for your records, but it must be personalised to the position if you are applying for a job. This will demonstrate to employers why you are a good fit, but it will also assist your application to defeat the ATS robots.
Unrequired contents of CV
There are some details on your CV that you should not include. Here are some of the most common:
A Headshot: It is standard practice to include a photo of oneself on your CV in many countries; however, the United Kingdom is not one of them.
Only dates from work and qualifications should be included on your CV, not your age or date of birth. However, your age has no bearing on your ability to perform the work, and employers are prohibited from asking about your age under the Equality Act 2010.
Your marital status and dependents, like your age, have no bearing on your ability to perform your work. However, employers cannot ask about this information since they are protected under the Equality Act 2010, so do not include them on your CV.
If you start with a strong CV, you will have a better chance of landing a job. Following these CV tips and uploading your CV to apply for your next job is your best chance to make a strong first impression and secure yourself an interview.