How to write a catchy CV suitable for employment


CV(Curriculum Vitae)

Writing a good CV can be one of the toughest challenges of job hunting.

So you need to work on crafting the perfect CV for your target job. Here are our top 10 tips for writing a CV that’ll give you the best chance of securing the all important interview.

1. Keep it real!

Usually a CV should be no more than two pages and that’s two pages of A4 paper! Employers spend, on average, just eight seconds looking at any one CV, and a surefire way of landing yourself on the no pile is to send them your entire life story. Keep it punchy, to the point, and save those niggly little details for the interview.

2. Tailor it

Take the time to write a good CV for the specific job you’re going for. Change the details on your CV for each role that you apply for. Research the company and use the job advert to work out exactly what skills you should point out to them.

Doing this will make life easier for the recruiter, who is looking for candidates that match what they have put on the job description. Tailoring a CV means it might end up being the perfect CV they are looking for.

3. Include a personal statement

Don’t just assume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, use a short personal statement to explain why you are the best person for the job. Successful CVs are ones that cover the right bases in all the right places, so a tailored personal statement is important if you want to write a good CV. This should be reflected in your cover letter as well.

4. Don’t leave gaps

We are a cynical bunch and leaving obvious gaps on your CV can make employers suspicious. If the gaps are too long or too frequent, they may not give you the benefit of the doubt. But don’t panic if you have been out of work for a while, you can still make that work for you.

Knowing how to write a perfect CV is about knowing how to put a positive spin on your experiences and this goes for any employment gaps too. What did you do during your time off from work? If you did a course, or any volunteering work, or worked on developing soft skills such as communication, teamwork or project management, include this!

5. Keep it current

You should keep your CV up-to-date whether you’re looking for a job or not. Do you remember every achievement and bright idea you’ve had during your time at work off the top of your head? Most likely not! So it’s important to keep a record. Every time something significant occurs in your career, record it somewhere so you don’t later forget something that could be important.

When it comes time to apply for a new role, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to craft a successful CV.

6. Check for errors

So you’ve asked ‘how can I perfect my CV’? And you’ve gone through all your achievements, listing them clearly, and tailored the CV to the role you’re targeting. It was a lot of work, but surely now it will pay off. You send out the CV only to notice you’ve got a couple of typos in there!

Employers do look for mistakes on CVs and if they find them, it can give a bad impression, and put all that work crafting the perfect CV at risk. As we mentioned, employers are often overwhelmed with applications for roles, so they are often looking for any excuse to slim down the list of candidates for the interview stage. Typos and errors suggest a lack of attention to detail, but they are easily fixed. Use a spellchecker, and ask someone else to double-check what you’ve written.

And don’t ignore the most common CV mistakes!

7. Tell the truth

Everyone lies on their CV, right? No! Besides the ethical consideration of lying to a potential employer, it’s a sure-fire way to get caught out. Firstly, blatant lies on your CV could land you in trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. The last thing you want is to start work and then lose your new job for lying. You also may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly can’t answer questions on what you claim to know. And that can be very awkward.

8. Use the power of metrics

This may sound dull, but by backing up your achievements with numbers and quantifiable metrics it makes selling yourself much easier. Recruiters are on the lookout for evidence of tangible results. It’s all very well describing with words how you boosted sales, but cold hard numbers are so much more persuasive. Great CV examples tap into the power of metrics throughout. Here are some ideas:

Don’t say you “increased sales” – tell them you “increased sales by 70% over a six month period” (use your real results of course!)
Instead of saying you “kept customers happy”, give a quantifiable result, such as “reduced customer churn by 15% over the year”.
You didn’t “work tirelessly to keep your company’s systems online”, you achieved a 99% uptime for the company’s systems by implementing a new maintenance system.
Get the idea? Even if the number doesn’t sound impressive to you, if it provides clear evidence of your capabilities for the role in question, it will be much more powerful than a written claim.

9. Make it easy on the eye

We’ve already talked about making life as easy for the recruiter as possible. That also goes for what your CV looks like. An example of an excellent CV is one that is easy on the eye, allowing the recruiter to spot the relevant information in seconds.

Use bullet points and keep sentences short. Use the graphic design trick of leaving plenty of white space around text and between categories, so it’s easier to read and it’s clear how information is grouped. Alternatively, get creative with your job application!

10. Make it keyword friendly

If you’ve uploaded your CV to a job site so recruiters can find you, keywords are very important. Job titles and job buzzwords will help a search engine pick out your CV from the pile. Confused? Don’t be. A marketing candidate might mention “SEO” (Search Engine Optimisation), “direct marketing” and “digital marketing” among their experience and skills, for example. If you’re not sure, have a search online and see what words are commonly mentioned when you input your job title. And again – the clues for the relevant keywords will be on the job advertisement for the roles you’re going for!

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Fakaza Gospel