How to write the perfect CV

How to write the perfect CV

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If you’re re-entering the job market after a significant break, or just not getting any responses to your job applications – it might be time to have a look at your CV.

Your CV is the first glimpse a hiring manager has into who you are, what you’ve done and how you might be an asset to their team. It’s important that your CV showcases all of your skills, attributes and experience – however putting it all together can be a little overwhelming.

What information to include, what font/graphics to use and how to lay it all out are some of the common questions we get from candidates struggling with their CVs, so let’s dive in!

(Tip – There are a number of templates that you can use if you’re time poor or not super creative – see our example below.)

Layout/Appearance/Content. Knowing where to start can sometimes be the hardest part. By breaking things up into 3 simple categories you can tick your CV to-do list off much easier. Once you have the first 2 sorted, all that’s left is to work your magic on the content – and no one knows what you’re capable of more than you do!

What should I put, where?

Your name and contact details should be prominent and easy to read! Pop them at the top of your page – there’s no need to ‘title’ your CV (ie “Jane Smith’s Resume) but do consider adding the link to your LinkedIn Page/GitHub/Portfolio as well if you have them.

Keep your skills/strengths/qualifications etc grouped together. This ensures all your relevant skills and experience are prominent and easy to locate. Whether you put these at the top or bottom end of your resume is entirely up to you!

Be mindful of the order your information is in. For example – when it comes to providing a timeline of your working history, organise this in reverse chronological order.

What should it look like?

Choose an attractive and readable font and avoid using harsh/bright colours. Following on from that try to keep your font size consistent and avoid making it too big (even though you may be really excited about a particular point – there are other vision friendly ways to point this out)

Font formatting is your best friend! Use bold/italics/underline to highlight important information (such as your position title or company name). Having your headings (job title/company name etc) one size and the body text (an over view of your time in that role) one or two points smaller not only looks great – it’s also a great way to emphasize key information.

You can use creative templates to jazz up the aesthetic appearance of your CV and a little personality to it too!

What information should I include? What can I leave out?

If you’re not too sure what to include under skills a great tip is to have a look at job ad’s that are specific to the role/industry you’re after and note any skills/expertise/licenses required by a few different companies and list any that you have in bullet point.

One of the most common questions we get is “What should I include under employment history?” Use the space to highlight your transferrable skills, how you contributed to the company, any accomplishments, or achievements you had. You can also give a quick run down of your daily duties – but be sure to prioritize anything that’s not obvious from your job title. Try to avoid repeating yourself or going into too much detail. Keep your overview short, sweet and enticing – the goal is to get a call back/interview and allow your people skills to shine!

Hobbies/Interests – Adding them in really does come down to personal preference. You may be applying for a role where the company really values personality and individuality or you may have hobbies and interests that are relevant to the role/industry you are targeting. If your working history is limited (you’re a recent graduate for example) this is the perfect way to show how your interests or things you’re involved in outside of work can make you a great candidate for the role you’ve applied for!

Writing a CV shouldn’t have to be stressful – we hope our guide will come in handy when putting yours together so you can focus on landing the role of your dreams. 

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Have a burning CV related question we didn’t answer? get in touch and let us know!