What are your tips for writing a CV?
The first thing you are often asked to submit when applying for a job or internship is your CV. It is an employer’s first introduction to you, therefore it must show off the best version of yourself! Today, we will be discussing what exactly a CV is and how we can make them as professional as possible.
What is a CV?
CV stands for curriculum vitae. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, they are “a short written description of your education, qualifications, previous jobs, and sometimes also your personal interests, that you send to an employer when you are trying to get a job”. Since the CV is often one of the only things an employer will see from you, it is important that they are as accurate and clear as possible. Here are some of our tips on how to make a CV good.
Tip #1 – make sure they are formatted well
One of the first things an employer will avoid is a messy CV. Everything should, always be as streamlined as possible. This means it is easier to read. Rumour has it that many large corporations just skim a CV, so the key details should be in bold or a larger font. For example, the headings should be a font size larger than the main text, and your roles and titles should be prominent. The quick descriptions underneath could be more concise and highlight the key roles in your previous positions, and the skills you gained. Programs such as Microsoft Word and Pages have minimalist templates for CVs that can be a good starting point.
Tip #2 – you can cater your CV to your job!
One thing I was surprised about when I was applying to jobs was that many people cater their CVs to different jobs. For example, when applying to a part time job, your skillset would be different from applying to an internship. The key skills needed would be different and as such, the CV itself could be tailored to the particular job (or type of job) you are applying to. That way, you will not appear over or under qualified.
Tip #3 – only include what is truly relevant
Following on from the second tip, it is key that you only include what is truly relevant to the job. If you are applying for a minimum wage job, it could be better to include previous job experience you have in a similar field, or anything that could be seen as a good skill related to that. On the other hand, if you are applying to an internship, it could be good to include any recent endeavours that included skills like collaboration, innovation and independence. That way, potential employers would be able to see that you are keen and well rounded.
Tip #4 – make sure all your details are correct
Before you send off your CV, make sure basic details are correct. For example, your name, telephone and email address must be correct. These are the main ways an employer will contact you, so if they are wrong, you could miss out! Check that all the spelling and grammar is correct, as these can also be red flags for employers. It could be worth converting your final CV into a PDF format so that there won’t be any formatting differences when submitting!
Tip #5 – check it with someone you trust
If you are unsure about the quality of your CV, it is always worth speaking to someone who you trust to give you constructive criticism. Be it a parent, careers counsellor or teacher, someone with more experience is always useful when creating your first proper CV. Often, they have a more developed understanding of what a CV should look like and will be happy to help.
What are your tips for writing a CV? Why do you think they are important?