A confused you will get a hundred more confusing answers on how to write your CV if you decide to look it up on the internet. There are a few quite obvious points but for the benefit of the doubt, we will mention a few.
Use very formal and professional language. It is common tendency to lie about the skills you have in your CV in an attempt at trying to impress the employer but refrain from doing it as you will be asked to show your proficiency at it. Make sure the font is uniform as well as formal. Proofread as many times as possible and preferably by another person. A third person perspective will catch more mistakes. Ensure your basic contact information like phone number and email id is provided.
Now that we have cleared the basic requirements, let’s get into what will make your CV stand out.
This is important and needs to be written. This is equivalent to the first impression when you meet someone. Make sure your bio does not talk about the specific job you are applying for. Make it about yourself. Who you are, what you have done, what you aim to do, and more. Keep is brief and to the point.
Nothing adds credibility to the talent you say you have like providing concrete proof. Make a portfolio with links to all the major projects you have worked on as well as any blog you maintain. Everybody exaggerates about their talent at least a little in their CV. Providing solid example is a great way to back your statements. It adds even more of a positive impression if the work you do is out of your own effort and not because you were forced to do it in the previous place your worked.
When you mention the time period of your studies or work experiences, it is important to not just write the year but the months too. Once you clearly mention it on the CV, cross check with your Linkedln profile to make sure it is the same there as well.
It is common and sometimes vital for people to take breaks from their work or college life. With a huge rise in mental health issues among young adults, there is nothing wrong in wanting to take a break and cool off. However, when someone reads your CV, they will need an explanation as to what you did during that few months or year missing. If not, they will assume that you lazed off and did nothing and that does not make a good impression. Stress on it if you did something to improve your talents during that break.
Voluntary works and internships are of immense value. It shows your nature of wanting to learn new things and seizing opportunities without being forced into it. Irrespective of what field you volunteered in, add it in as it adds to your character.
Refrain from writing cliché statements that is an obvious attempt to impress someone or something which you will default have to do being in a particular field. Find things in you which makes you stand out, which makes you different from literally all the other candidates out there. Even if you feel it is insignificant, add it in as anything out of the ordinary, regardless of the magnitude is still unique.
Talk the employer through the things you want to inform them. Do not vaguely tell them the position you worked as. Tell them what exactly you did, how you did it, what challenges you face, how you overcame it, how you helped your teammates, how your input took the project to a new direction. Everything tiny detail is important.
We know that a professional CV includes a cover letter but trust us, they rarely get read. All the employer needs is in your resume and nothing else matters to them. Unless you are asked to send a cover letter, don’t bother to. Take the saved time and put an extra effort to up your resume.
Graphs, pie charts and animations
Please do not try to show your technical skills in the CV itself. Just mention you have them and link it to your portfolio. Let your portfolio do the talking.
Fancy fonts and colored backgrounds
CV is a very formal and professional document. The last thing you need to add is weird, unfitting fonts and colors. You are not impressing a child and honestly, it does not scream mature or adult when you see a colorful and casual looking paper. There is a general format to writing a CV, stick to it or else do not be surprised if you don’t get through the first round.
Putting random buzzwords in bold
Make it 1-2 pages long
Not that you should be writing your life story in it but there is no need to rush through your CV either. Add in all points you want to mention. Provide details for whatever projects you were a part of. Overall, mention all important aspects that builds your character. If this take more than 3 pages, there is absolutely no problem. As long as you do not rant about your life like an autobiography, you are good.
It is nice to look at a CV which follows a uniform format throughout. Hence, avoid adding tables and whatnot.
Don’t say you project managed a house renovation
It is nice to put your work in sophisticated words but that does not mean you take the most insignificant job you did and thesaurus it all the way until it sounds like rocket science to the person reading it. Don’t exaggerate or use too much jargon.
Keep in mind that the CV is your reflection on paper. Do not write it like an essay or like a to-do list. Walk that fine line where you put across your personality as well as qualities that make you fit for the job. Write the CV according to the person you are and not like how the employer should think you are. The content will make you stand out and not the physical look of the CV.