How to write a great CV

18 June 2010
How to write a great CV

The best CVs not only tell a story, but also tell it quickly, clearly and simply. Your CV needs to make all your relevant abilities and potential stand out to the reader. Try to use language that is active and animated.

2. LENGTH A good CV will never be more than a couple of pages of A4, no matter how extensive your experience.

3. MISTAKES Check every single word and punctuation mark. Give your CV to somebody else to read just in case you have missed something - a fresh eye is always useful.

4. MODIFICATIONS Modify your CV for every job application. When looking through a pile of CVs, an employer is looking for those that stand out, those where the applicant has not only prioritised the information specific to the vacancy, but has also put in that extra bit of effort.

5. QUALIFICATIONS Arrange your qualifications to illustrate an ongoing career development. Think about what qualifications the employer will be looking for as essentials and highlight them accordingly.

As with the qualifications, each rung on your career ladder should be laid out so that it clearly shows the most recent and most relevant parts first. Never start each section with the phrase: "My duties and responsibilities included" Make it full of your achievements rather than just a dull outline.

The classic CV includes an invariably cringeworthy section on hobbies and pastimes. If your hobbies have no relevance to the job vacancy, don't feel obliged to include them. Alternatively, if they make you look good, include them.

Once you've written your CV, leave it for 10 minutes and then go back and re-read it. Spend time on it. It may seem like it's only two pages, but it could make the difference between getting that job of your dreams or not.

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