"Curriculum Vitae" by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images
Anyone can write a résumé. Most people have had to present one at least once in their lives.
However, as you certainly know, there are many different variations of a curriculum.
How to structure it and what information to include changes according to various aspects: the job you are applying for, the country you live in, your own personal experiences, the template you are using, any particular data that the employer needs etc. etc.
In this article we will not tell you how to write a résumé, because we trust you know how; we will, instead suggest a few ways to improve it.
Nothing out of this world, mind you, but we are sure this solid advice will certainly be of help.
Here some advice on how to improve your CV.
1. PREPARE A TEMPLATE
Quite the plain suggestion, we know, but writing down a CV to use as template to be adjusted as necessity commands will make your life easier and save time, especially if you are planning on applying for many jobs and in different fields.
2. KEEP IT SHORT
It is usually better not to exceed two pages in length. The reasons are simple:
· No one wants to read the story of your life. What recruiters actually want is to find what is useful for the hiring company among your experiences, and it is easier to do so if the content is not excessive.
· Recruiters will simply skip a résumé that is too long. After all, they probably have to consider and evaluate various other candidates.
· You will show a quality that is always appreciated: knowing how to summarize and highlight what’s important.
Please, don’t be that guy who sets the font to 10 to keep everything in two pages. Recruiters and employers are not idiots, and if it’s too small to read it, they simply won’t bother.
3. KEEP IT CLEAN
Personalizing you curriculum is a good thing to do, as you should try to stand out from the rest.
After all, the visual aspect is important.
However, always be sure to keep it “clean”, that is to say: orderly and easy to read. Use clear fonts like Garamond, Cambria, or Calibri, and do avoid using colours other than black (consider that, if they print your CV, it will most certainly be in B&W).
It is far too easy to let things get out of hand and end up with a terrible-looking and incomprehensible résumé. Remember that you aim to be considered professional.
4. KEEP IT FOCUSED
Tailor each CV you send to the position you are applying for. Rewrite part of your curriculum if you need, but do not send a generic one; it must be specific.
· Include only the relevant work experience. You don’t have to include that summer job at the pool if you are applying for a developer position.
· Add keywords to your résumé: read the job offer and take them from there. Many recruiters simply search your CV for those specific keywords and discard it if they do not find them.
· Include only your last two qualifications. If you have a university degree, no need to write down your high school diploma, unless you did something very particular during your teenage years.
5. WRITE ONLY THE NECESSARY PERSONAL INFORMATION
No need for a photo. In many countries it is illegal as it can be a source of discrimination.
Do not add your address. It is not important and, again, it can be used to exclude you as a candidate, although with the rise of work from home, where you actually live has less importance.
Include a contact e-mail, a contact number, and a link to your Ominee and LinkedIn profiles.
Write a brief summary at the beginning, explaining your background, your main skills and how you got them.
6. PROOFREAD IT AND AKS SOMEONE ELSE'S OPINION
So, you have finished writing and formatting your curriculum.
Now save the document and take a break. Do not just send it yet.
First of all, read it all again. It is common to overlook typos when writing, and proofreading ensures you do not appear sloppy or ignorant to a potential employer.
Ask family or friends to read it and for their feedback. Sometimes what we think is quite clear or important might not actually be so to others, and the opinion of someone you trust can help you improve your résumé and perhaps get that interview you seek.
Want to know how to succeed in a job interview? Click here.
Do you prefer some tips on how to get to a job interview? Read this article.
If, instead, you'd like to know how to properly quit your job, click here