How To Write a Killer CV

You have three to five seconds to stand out. So make it count.

CV or curriculum vitae provides a summary of your experience and skills. Remember, you have around five seconds to make an impression, maybe even less than that. Your resume should be clear and not to say organised. It’s important that you don’t send the same CV to all the companies, since they are looking for different skill sets, so it’s should be tailored to each opportunity. It can take more time, but results are at least in my opinion noticeable.

// RESEARCH THE COMPANY

In my opinion if you research the company very well and the position you are applying for, you can make yourself seem like a perfect fit, even if you are not completely. You can tailor your experiences to show that you are appropriate for the job. It’s important that you don’t put everything on your resume, it has to be just enough. Probably the person interviewing you won’t be interested that you were a cleaner in your student years if you are applying for a role of an accountant in the firm. Like I said, tailor it  and you’ll be good.

// THE WRITING PROCESS

PROFILE / In your profile section of the CV, put your professional title, some unique expertise and charasteristics,… Let’s say something that makes you, you. A great addition to the company. It should be a short company of who you are and what can you bring to your company.

EDUCATION / While it might not be the most important thing it can still count for some positions. It really depends on what kind of job you are looking for, but don’t forget to include this info as well.

SKILLS / The CV itself should contain the section describing your abilities. This is a part where you can showcase your skills and it should be in a readable format, so that the employer can just scan the section and see if you are the real fit. It shouldn’t be too long, it should be brief and perfect for the position you are applying. Showcase the skills that the  company needs and they are looking for. Some safe keywords are communication skills (be aware that you have to show that at the interview as well), any foreign languages you know, social networking,… But be careful, don’t lie on your resume, since most likely it will come to the time where the skills will come to the test. Write down some unique skills as well, since most of the people will opt in for the ‘safe keywords’ as well and you won’t stand out.

WORK HISTORY / I already mentioned that in the introduction it’s really important that you list only the important experience, better said, the experience that can correlate with the position you are applying for. This section is a part where you can write down all the achievments and the expertise you were in. You should write the title or the position you held, of course written next to the company you were in. The employment interval for every occupation you held, maybe some interviewers will ask for reasons why the job ended, was it on your behalf or did the company fire you and what were the reasons to do so.

Don’t forget to include the simple description of the job you had and some obligations/responsibilities you had. It’s amazing if you can write some of the achievement from the job and try to quantify your impact. That means show your accomplishment in fact, not just words. This was already said by Aristotle who taught three pillars of effective persuasion: ethos, pathos and logos. You should basically persuade others using logic, evidence, and facts. (1)

// DON’T LIE

This is a no brainer, but I already written, that probably there will be a place and the time that you will get busted. One way or another, your lie will get out.

// KEEP IT UPDATED

You changed your telephone number? Update it on the resume. You were in an online course and you gained some knowledge that would be useful for the position you are looking for? Write it down. You learned the basics of a foreign language. Make a note of that in your skill section, but don’t forget the upper statement. If you only know the introduction of yourself in ones language, don’t put it on the resume. Make sure you at least have some basics figured out.

//PROOFREAD

Yep, once you have a resume written out, give it out to friends to check for any spelling errors, grammar mistakes you can correct. If you have an option for a certified proofreader, even better! Just be sure, that you send in the greatest resume that you can make.

// DESIGN

There are a lot of people who only write everything in Word and just send that. Plain text, with no formatting, no size changes. I mean, it’s okay, you showcase everything, but does it stand out? Like I said, there are only a few seconds that it can make or break the return call for the interview. If you have an eye for design, you can make it yourself in Word, Photoshop or any other programs. You can have it custom made or just download/buy some printables that are on the web. In fact I am working on a section on this blog, where free CV templates will be available for you. Adding more and more each time. Check it out: CV Templates

//SEND!

This is what you were waiting for, right? Send it in, keep your fingers crossed and be available for any return calls and check your e-mail often.

I wish you best of luck in your job hunting. May you land the dream job soon.

-tina von s

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11 Comments

  1. There are so many ways to write an CV but these are some great tips for any kind of CV. I have really similar points I always follow when writing one.

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