Composing your CV can seem overwhelming, especially when embarking on a job hunt after a prolonged absence from the job market or seeking your initial professional position. Your CV is the primary tool used by a prospective employer to form their initial impression of you. Having the necessary tools to format a compelling CV can give you an edge over other candidates and increase your chances of making it to the interview stage.
In this article, we will be going through some simple tips to help you format an incredible CV.
Choose a clean and professional font: Your font choice should be easy to read, professional and not too flashy. Having a CV no one can clearly read is a terrible start! A ‘clean’ looking CV can give it an advantage over those that use complicated or difficult-to-read fonts. In addition, a font that is both easy to read and tidy can convey a sense of professionalism to potential employers.
Use bullet points: Bullet points help to organise your information and make it easier to read – Bullet points can be a helpful addition to your resume as they draw attention to your skills and experience. They are especially effective in highlighting your professional accomplishments and job responsibilities that align with the position you are seeking.
Keep it concise: Your CV should be no more than two pages long. Use short, concise sentences and avoid overly complicated language; words have a way of getting you through the door if you know how to use them and where to apply them. Nevertheless, while it’s important to keep your CV concise you should also avoid selling your experience short.
Using headings and subheadings: it is vital that you present the heading in the best format possible. Use headings and subheadings to organise your CV into different sections, such as education, work experience, skills etc. This will make it easier for employers to navigate your CV and find the information they are looking for.
Customise your CV for each job: Employers are interested in assessing how well your skills and experience align with the requirements of the advertised job role. Customising your CV to fit the role demonstrates your dedication as a candidate and your genuine interest in working for your desired company. PS, recruiters to identify a generic CV, so tailoring your CV can increase your chances of being viewed as a serious contender.
Using Graphics or tables: While it’s important to make your CV stand out, using fancy graphics or tables can make your CV difficult to read or distract from other key information on your CV. Using graphics could also confuse Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – Applicant Tracking Systems are the programs hiring teams use to scan resumes during the application process. Many ATSs can’t identify graphics, so it might be best to stick to a clean, professional layout.
Saving your CV in the right format: By saving your CV in a non-editable format, such as an image file, you increase the likelihood of encountering delays in the early stages of the hiring process. This could result in you searching for an editable version of your CV or the hiring team of the company you applied for a role with attempting to convert it into a more suitable file type, which may cause you to lose out on opportunities as other candidates move ahead.
Here is an example of a well-formatted CV.
In conclusion, formatting a compelling CV can be a daunting task, but it is a crucial step in securing a job interview. By following the tips outlined in this article you can increase your chances of standing out to potential employers. Remember, your CV is your primary tool for making a great first impression, so make sure it showcases your skills and experience in the best possible light.
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