Applying for a new job is always a nerve-wracking process, and one which can rightly wick away much of your attention – even in a healthy jobs market such as this one. Pitching your applications correctly is nothing short of crucial, and your CV is a quintessential part of the equation.
No two CVs are ever truly the same, and the outcome for your perfect CV may look completely different to those of your colleagues and associates. Still, there are some essential governing rules that apply to most CVs, and that can give you an essential framework with which to work. Here, these rules have been condensed into a simple list of dos and don’ts, so you can craft your own CV without limiting your opportunities in the process.
- Proof your CV for spelling and grammar. Ensuring your CV is free of syntactical and grammatical errors will demonstrate that you have an eye for detail and a commitment to results.
- Limit your CV to two pages, maximum. Employers will have little patience for long-winded CVs; limiting yourself to two pages or less makes your CV more likely to receive attention, and also forces you to be shrewd about exactly what to include.
- Be succinct. Paragraphs of prose about your experience and motivation should be left to your cover letter. Your CV is there to illustrate your qualifications, experience and strengths, and should be whittled down to these bare essentials.
- Include your contact information. Your phone number, email address and current home address should be as easy as possible to find. The top of your CV is a good place for this information.
- Cram your CV with information. Whether you have decades of professional experience or a tendency to ‘waffle’, you should resist the urge to fill every inch of space on your CV. White space helps with legibility, and including too much information can distract employers from the important information.
- Write informally. This may seem an obvious point, as it goes without saying that a CV is a professional document. But the point speaks to a wider one about tone and register. Keep flowery language to a minimum, try not to use superlative language to describe your successes – and if it sounds unprofessional, do not include it.
Advice and Expertise
Though writing your CV is by and large a solitary process, there are avenues by which you can get professional eyes on your draft CV – with a view to fine-tuning it for your ideal role. Don’t be afraid to reach out for advice from colleagues in the same profession, or leaders in your wider network for advice.
Companies like New Street Consulting Group exist to help match businesses with candidates, as well as to assist in the implementation of leadership strategies; as well as in directly helping candidates find a long-term career opportunity, they can be invaluable as a resource for refining your CV. Likewise, you could utilise smaller independent recruitment companies to help you draft your CV for particular positions or industries – even if you don’t intend to accept a role through them.