In today’s competitive job market, a well-constructed CV is your key to unlocking new career opportunities. To help you stand out, we’ve compiled the latest advice and best practices to ensure your CV is both modern and impactful.
The foundation of a strong CV lies in the basics. When constructing or revising your CV, make sure to include the following key components:
Replace the traditional objective statement with a professional summary. In just a few lines, succinctly highlight your key skills, experience, and career goals. Tailor this section to match the specific job you’re applying for.
Work Experience – Achievements Over Responsibilities
Provide a detailed account of your work experience. Include your job title, the name of the company, and your employment dates (month and year). Modern CVs emphasise achievements over job responsibilities. Show how your work had a positive impact by highlighting specific accomplishments. This approach helps potential employers see the value you can bring to their organisation. Use quantifiable achievements when possible, such as “increased sales by 20%” or “streamlined processes, reducing costs by 15%.”
Incorporate a dedicated skills section that highlights your core competencies. This can include technical skills, soft skills, and any relevant certifications or qualifications. Ensure your skills are in line with the job requirements.
Your education section should be concise and include your highest level of education, the name of the institution, and graduation date. Exclude details such as your secondary school education unless you’re a recent graduate.
Getting CV Content Right
Your CV content is the heart of your document. Here are some tips to make it shine:
Professional Development – Mention any relevant courses, certifications, or training you’ve completed. This demonstrates your commitment to staying current in your field.
Digital Presence – Highlight your digital presence. If you have a personal website, portfolio, or professional blog, include links. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and aligns with your CV.
How Many Pages – In most cases, aim for a CV that’s one to two pages long. While brevity is key, don’t omit crucial information. Focus on what’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Proofreading and Grammar – Thoroughly proofread your CV to eliminate any spelling or grammar errors. Consider using a grammar-checking tool and seek feedback from peers. Mistakes can create a negative impression.
ATS-Friendly – Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are commonly used by employers to filter CVs. To ensure your CV gets through, use relevant keywords and phrases from the job description. We have a separate guide here that delves deeper into ATS!
Contact Information Privacy – In today’s digital age, it’s advisable to omit sensitive information like your address or date of birth for privacy and security reasons.
Customisation is Key – One size does not fit all when it comes to CVs. Customise your CV for each job application. Carefully review the job description and mirror the keywords and phrases used in it, demonstrating your alignment with the role.
CV Design, Font, and Colour – Your CV design and formatting are as crucial as the content. We’ve explained more about modern design principles here.
Would I Lie To You?
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to your CV. Nowadays, employers often conduct thorough background checks, including online and social media scrutiny. Falsifying information on your CV is likely to be discovered, leading to damaging consequences.
If you’ve been truthful on your CV but still didn’t make the shortlist, consider reaching out to the hiring manager to seek feedback. This proactive approach may help you stand out from other candidates, and constructive feedback can guide you in refining your CV for future applications.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well-equipped to create a modern, compelling CV that resonates with employers and increases your chances of securing your dream job. Your CV is your ticket to the interview stage, where you can truly shine and Your CV design and formatting are as crucial as the content. Follow these modern design principles: