8 tips to improve your CV
Your CV has less time to grab the reader’s attention than it takes you to read this sentence; barely 4 secs to convince HR that you’re the one. If common sense prevails, you have an uncommon advantage.
However, if you haven’t got a CV or have no idea about how to start, here are 8 reminders for CV success:
1. Avoid fancy fonts, headers, footers, tables, images, or charts.
Avoid advertising how much free-time you have on your hands. Modern HR scanners and automated processors often discard headers and footers. Choose a clear font and don’t include tables, images, icons. Never include emojis, which are both distracting and unprofessional.
2. Consistent formatting.
Squiggly lines or just a mix of fonts are clear signs that you’re a timewaster! Having different formats within your CV makes it unclear and is again, highly unprofessional. Highlight the right points and use the same font and sizes throughout the document
3. Only list relevant work experience.
It is important that you filter your work experience, as not everything in it will be relevant to your new job. If you have little or no work experience, be creative in picking out any transferable skills you learnt on your last ‘job’ or volunteering.
4. Avoid listing your age, gender, hobbies, grades, salary expectation.
Once a standard feature, the world has changed and companies have no legal right to it. Hobbies are also irrelevant for recruiters when selecting profiles. Don’t include your salary expectation, which can look presumptuous.
5. Avoid explanations of why you fit the job.
Include facts and not opinions: they are tiresome to read and get in the way of facts! Recruiters are not interested in reading how good you think you are so let your skill set do the talking.
6. No lies!
Isn’t it obvious? Don’t set yourself up for humiliation at the interview. Only mention the name of the college that you actually attended – the one that actually exists. No need to mention the national award you received; unless of course you actually received it. Telling the truth pays.
7. Don’t include jargon (of any kind).
Sector-specific or urban colloquialisms are a turn-off and guarantee CV failure. Your CV represents you and is the image you are giving to the company. Use clear, simple language and you will have a better chance at getting through the filters.
8. Avoid too much text
Make it short, then make it shorter. It doesn’t have to fill one page, as soon as you are clear enumerating your strong points. Keeping it simple will look more professional and it will make the recruiter’s job easier.
Truth, simplicity and common sense should ensure your CV gets to the top of the pile.
Do you want to improve your CV and gain some work experience?
Skills for Success is a Language Link programme in which you will learn the skills employers are looking for when searching new candidates and you will also get some relevant work experience in the field of your choice! Click here to know more.