CV writing is the first initial steps you do while starting your job search. This, along with your cover letter, your CV is a document that a potential employer uses to make their first judgment about you – so you’ll have to ensure these judgments are positive.
Your Definitive Guide to perfect Resume Writing.
In order to make the shortlist, your CV must meet most or all of the criteria in the position description when applying for a job. If your credentials are appropriate for the position to which you are applying, here are our tips to make sure your resume stands out.
Contact details –
Ensure you include complete contact details such as your name, address, phone number, and email. Tips: Make sure the email address you provide looks professional. (mexyz@hotmail is not appropriate)
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Professional summary –
While recruiter’s eyes scan your resume, the first thing they notice is a summary of the experience. Ensure the first area at the top of your resume is “summary of experience”.
This area of your CV should be designed to prove your value proposition and differentiate you from your competition.
Read the job description or posting and include all job-specific keywords. For example: If you are applying for Python developer, include this keyword in your summary.
- Python Developer with 2+ years of experience
Including job-specific keywords also helps the applicant tracking systems(ATS) to recognize your resume for future openings.
Career objective –
Highlight your career objectives. Ensure you reference your career objectives back to the job you are applying, and it should indicate what you are looking for in your next career move.
Work experience –
This should be listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent. Include employer names, positions held and primary responsibilities. Use language like “managed” or “oversaw” as recruiters and hiring managers react better to this terminology.
Quantify your accomplishments where possible. Also, where appropriate, include an indication reason for leaving each position. We advise you not to leave gaps in your CV. If you took a year out, carried out an interim assignment, or traveled for six months, say so. If you do include gaps, potential employers can suspect the worst.
Stating the years, rather than the months you started or finished a role can also send off alarm bells.
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Education and qualifications –
Keep it concise by listing the qualification obtained, the year it was completed and the institution you studied through.
It is also important to include details of two references, such as former employers. If you are a graduate with no work history, include details of a former lecturer.
Document format –
Most companies will upload your resume into their databases. So make sure it is written in a common format. Most applicant tracking systems accept a variety of document formats, including PDF, DOC, TXT, ODF and HTM.
We suggest using a clean format with no graphics, images or tables. ATS software doesn’t pick up images and graphics as they aren’t searchable inside the database. Within the text of your resume, it is best not to use any special characters or fonts. Avoid headers and footers, too, as these can be incompatible with most ATS.
Also, ensure there is plenty of white space and avoid flowery or small fonts.
If you have your own website profiling your work, include the URL, but do not simply submit the URL address instead of a CV.
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Final checks –
Don’t forget to spell check your CV. Remember, it is the first impression your potential employer will have of you, so take the time to get it right. If possible, ask someone to proofread your resume to check for any spelling, layout or typing errors.
Personalize your CV
To make sure you present yourself as the best person for the job, personalize your resume for each position you apply for. Prepare a CV template and adjust for each job application. Expand the section on experience that applies to the job and cut back the space you have devoted to those areas which have little or no value to the role applied for.