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How to write a good CV: A professional’s guide (tips and what to avoid)

How to write a good CV: A professional’s guide (tips and what to avoid)

A CV is a tool to help you get a foot in the door when applying for jobs. Statistics show that on average recruiters spend 06 to 08 seconds reviewing CVs before they make their decisions.

What this means for you is that writing a good CV matters more than you would think. This may be a little time-consuming; there are no shortcuts to polishing up and perfecting your CV. While a small price to pay for landing your dream job, building up a perfected CV can be considered an investment in yourself and your future.

Find out how to write a good CV with tips and advice from our experienced professionals.

What is a CV?

First things first, a curriculum vitae (cv) is a standard document used when applying for jobs. Covering a summary of your education, skills, and experience while enabling you to showcase your abilities to potential employers successfully.

The length of your CV

A standard CV should be no longer than two pages (A4 size). However, there is no hard and fast rule to this. The experience and skills of recent graduates for example may only cover one page, or those in a higher level role would use more than two pages to fit in their years of experience within different industries. Thus while it is essential to keep your CV short and concise you should also avoid selling your experiences short.

To save some space, stick to relevant information and avoid repeating what you may have included in your cover letter. Debate on which information would sell you, as well as its relevance to the job you are applying for.

The required contents of a CV

  • Personal details: compact heading/footnote
  • Statement of clear aims/objective
  • Educational qualifications: most recent first
  • Internship/Employment details (if any): action and results
  • Achievements/positions of responsibility
  • Skills
  • Interests/other activities
  • Referees

How to structure your CV

Key Pointers

  • Relevant experience: Some achievements are more important to the position you are applying for, than others. Make sure the jobs and the experience you include in your resume relate directly to the job description.
  • The right skills: The hiring manager is looking for candidates whose skills match their job description. If they are looking for a candidate proficient in AI and ML, for example, mention instances when you used those languages/skills, etc.
  • Strong content: A resume is a document that markets you to potential employers. Write strong, interesting content that impresses employers and convinces them to offer you an interview.
  • Your unique qualities: Hundreds of candidates might apply for the same position as you. Let your resume stand out from the other candidates by showing your unique skills and using an engaging and active tone.

Recruiters are interested in a detailed resume

  • To better understand who you are
  • Get an in-depth understanding of your exposure, internship, and skills
  • For us to be well prepared for the interview

Using a resume builder

One of the most essential things that job seekers need when meeting recruiters of a company is confidence. Resume builders ensure that they (job seekers) have professionally designed and formatted resumes, something that builds on their confidence. This is important when meeting recruiters.

Things to keep in mind

Consider a Recruiter’s perspective

A “generic CV” rarely gets you anywhere. You put together the best resume you can, then send it off to as many companies as you can, in the hopes it will be a good match for at least one job in one organization.

Adjust your CV based on your understanding of the company to which you are forwarding your CV. There is no such thing as a “perfect CV”. It’s all about impressing a recruiter in 20 seconds!

Pubudu Liyanage

Consultant- Human Resources

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