Whether you’re a new university graduate on the job hunt for the first time or if you’re trying to move past your entry-level salary, you need a good CV.
A CV refresh doesn’t have to be this big task that overwhelms you.
Doing a little each day or a number of small things in one sitting could do you good.
If you want to showcase yourself as a professional in the best way possible, you can start with these small changes.
1.Change from passive to active language
Vague language is one of the biggest issues with many CVs. Sentences like “I worked as a full-time graphic designer in the marketing and communications department” says almost nothing.
When you take the same sentence and switch it to active, specific language such as “I played an integral role with the conception, rebranding, and execution of campaigns that helped personalize the brand,” you seem much more invested in your work.
Employers want to see you as a hands-on proactive employee who will take charge of their work.
2. Keep your CV two to three pages at most
This is difficult but it forces you to focus on what’s most important, and leave the rest to your cover letter.
The most relevant experience should come up first, delete the work experience that doesn’t apply. You will have to use your own judgement here but you could always reach out to a CV writing professional.
3. Include real numbers and show that your work’s impact can be quantified.
Easier said than done, I know. It’s best to start thinking about your job in terms of numbers even if you’re a creative.
Take the time to go through your CV and include figures wherever you can. Quantifiable results will always be impressive.
For example, if you are going to say that you managed a team of software engineers, write down how many you managed, or how long you managed them for.
How many new sales pitches did you work on last year? How many page views did your article generate, and how did it boost the resulting company’s revenue?
It’s always a good idea to provide specific details which will allow employers to get a more complete understanding of the work you are capable of.
4. Use present tense
If you have an issue with listing your responsibilities for positions, this is a great tip.
Always use the present tense to describe your accomplishments even if you’re describing accomplishments at an old job.
Instead of, “Created, edited and promoted blog content,” change it to, “Create, edit, and promote blog content.” It subconsciously implies enthusiasm and action without any additional effort. It also brings consistency to your CV.
5. Customize your CV
Unfortunately, a CV is not a one-size-fits-all. A CV should be extremely relevant to the position you’re applying for.
One way to go about this is to skim through a number of job descriptions of the jobs you usually apply for. For example, if you are an accountant, what skills are appearing in almost all job descriptions? Which skills are must haves for a professional with your experience?
Find those and ensure they feature on your skills section. Your skills section should explain with action words how you used that skill and what were the results.
6. Have a separate “skills” section.
I understand the feeling that this section could make your CV longer. However, you would rather cut off less relevant work experience from your CV and put it in the cover letter or save it for the interview.
When you have a separate skills section, it allows HR managers to get a concentrated look of what it is you’re best at, and how your skills might fit into the position they are hiring for.
Crafting the “perfect” CV is not the easiest of tasks. You might have to write many variations, add/delete a word, rephrase a certain bullet point or play with a new template. We’ve all been there.
However, if you want to make sure you’re absolutely on the right track, you can always reach out to our professional CV writers who will transform your CV to sell your skills even better.