Top 6 CV Writing Tips
Your CV is your initial introduction to your potential employer, it’s your initial sales pitch for the job on offer. We have compiled the top 6 key tips that will help you and your CVstand out from the crowd.
- Tailor Your CV – Tailoring your CV to the job you are applying for is extremely important, that’s why it’s number one on our list. If you don’t do this it can look like you are applying for just any job and not the specific position on offer. It’s important to highlight clearly and specifically why it’s you who has the key skills necessary to be the prime candidate for the job on offer.
- Start Strong – Attract attention with a powerful opening. Make sure the first section grabs the reader. This is the first place to tell your potential employer about your certifications, accomplishments, and experience. But remember, keep it brief! Only include your career highlights, they don’t need your life story.
- Focus on Accomplishments – What you have achieved is more important, and some would say more interesting than the responsibilities you held in a previous role. Highlight what made you a model employee in each role and the accomplishments that show you as a ‘specialist’. For example, instead of writing that your last job “required good customer service skills,” point to an accomplishment like “received highest customer service reviews three months in a row.”
- Include Transferrable Skills & Training – Transferable skills are always important to mention as it shows you have experience carrying out certain roles. Just be sure to relate them to the job you are applying for. If you have it and it applies to the job in question, it’s a good idea to list your computer experience. A lot of employers want to make sure incoming workers are computer literate. Use lists to highlight your skills. If the employer wishes for you to elaborate they can ask you in the interview. Also, list any training or certifications you may have. Certifications will make you a leading candidate for many jobs. Stretching the truth on CV’s is common but it is always best to be truthful. If you are hired for the job you may be asked to provide documentation of qualifications or demonstrate a skill. If you have lied to the employer this could cause problems for both parties.
- As Simple As Black & White – Unless you are applying for a ‘creative role’ don’t be tempted to try to make your CV stand out by using imaginative fonts and colour schemes. It’s likely to have the opposite effect to the one you are aiming for. It will look unprofessional and the font may not be compatible with the recipient’s computer.
- Check & Check Again – They say, ‘third times a charm’. Well when it comes to CV’s it’s more like the thirty-third time, details count. A spelling mistake or punctuation error shows potential employers that you don’t pay attention to details. Be sure to check and recheck your completed CV for errors. Get a relative or friend to check it too; it’s always good to let a fresh pair of eyes look it over. If you put forward a CV littered with errors it will get no further than your recipients recycling bin.
If you don’t have a computer take advantage of places like your local library where such facilities are available or use an app to help you.
Here’s some links to sites to help you produce your own CV: