10 Powerful CV Writing Tips for 2017

A CV is definitely not the only way hiring managers judge your suitability for a job. There are lots of other factors like personal traits and technical skills that count. But having a good CV is definitely one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. You need to make sure that your personal “brand” is reflected in the layout and format of your CV. Make your CV standout with these current CV writing tips.

Choose your font wisely

It might seem trivial, but choosing the right font is an important part of how your CV comes across to readers. The consensus these days is that Times New Roman is outdated and can come across as a bit “stuffy”. Try to stick to neutral fonts like Arial and Calibri, which strike the right balance between modern and professional.

Bullet, bullet, bullet

There’s nothing worse for a recruiter or hiring manager looking at a CV and seeing big blocks of text. We won’t read it, trust us. Use bullet points to create short, snappy summaries for each of your positions. Outline the specific details and achievements of your role, keep the reader’s attention and help hiring mangers to decide whether you’ve got the skills required

Keep it short

When hunting for suitable candidates to fill a vacancy, recruiters and hiring managers will look through literally hundreds of CVs every day. If you want to catch their attention – and keep it – then make sure your CV is a maximum of two pages long, preferably one page. If you’re struggling to fit your content into one or two pages, a handy tip is to widen the margins of the document. Just make sure you leave enough space for printing.

Think about the layout

The layout of your CV is a vital part of catching the attention of a hiring manager, and enticing them into taking a closer look at it. The layout of your CV, of course, depends on which industry you’re in. If you’re in a creative industry, such as marketing, then you have more freedom to add a splash of color and artistic flair to your CV. Obviously, those working in more corporate environments should stick to neutral colors.

Use keywords to your advantage

Hiring managers and recruiters only spend a couple of seconds reading your CV. Make sure you get the main points across to the reader with a clever use of keywords. Try to avoid the old clichés like, “results-driven” and “dynamic”. Use original words that a hiring manager won’t have seen countless times before, such as, “adaptable” and “responsible”.

Mind the gap

Always make sure you explain any gaps in your CV. Perhaps you took a year out to go traveling or took an English course overseas. If the truth is that you’ve just taken a while to land a new job, then list any skills or experiences you gained during this time, if applicable. Failing to do this might look like you’re trying to hide something, which will prevent you from creating the right impression. 

Update your CV

Make sure you’re constantly reviewing and updating your CV as you make the transition from one job to the next. If you’re an assistant manager but you’ve still listed your internships from the school days in your CV, it’s time for a change-up! Only list relevant certifications and qualifications that match your current experiences and goals.

Update your online CV

In this day and age, every job hunter out there should have a LinkedIn profile. It makes you so much more visible to recruiters and opens doors to opportunities that you may not have access to on your average job board. Transform your LinkedIn profile into an online CV. Make sure all the specifics of the job responsibilities listed in your CV are also available on your LinkedIn profile.

References

There is a bit of debate as to whether you should list referees in your CV. We think it’s a waste of valuable space on a CV. Why? Recruiters generally don’t complete any reference checks until the interview process is over and the offer process has begun. If it comes to this stage, then we will contact you directly and ask for the details ourselves. We suggest stating, “references are available upon request” in your CV.

Salary details

Salary details shouldn’t be listed in your CV. Recruiters are selective and are often asked by their clients to work to a budget. Listing your salary details is an invitation for recruiters to make a judgment about you straight away. If your salary package is deemed too high (or too low), you could be ruled out immediately from being considered for a particular role. Don’t place an unnecessary constraint on yourself. Let the recruiter or hiring manager get a feel for your experience and knowledge before they discover your earnings. 

If you’re stuck in a CV rut and looking for a bit of assistance, our experts are here to help. Contact us if you have any questions, we'd love to help.