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10 tips to write a great CV for your next dream job

Follow the below 10 tips to write a great CV for your next dream job and get your free CV review by registering or updating your CV on Top Language Jobs

In 2019, the first preliminary resume screening step at most companies is a computerised Applicant Tracking System that scans CVs for keywords that indicate that an applicant fits a specific job. Therefore, making it through a keyword search requires a customised CV which includes enough of the required “keywords” to qualify for the next step.

Also, in today’s market, every time you’re looking for a job, you compete against multiple (sometimes hundreds of) other candidates, so make sure you get yourselves noticed. Submit a neat, easy to read and properly organised document. This way, you’ll convince recruiters to spend more time on your CV.

Remember that your CV only gets you an interview.. Therefore, make your CV relevant to the job description and company, in order to put all changes one your side to get an interview. 

Here are 10 tips to write a great Cv to help you land your next dream job.

1/ How to format your CV

Length: The standard length of a CV in the UK is two pages. However, for some professionals, one or three pages may be more appropriate so the length of your CV really depends on your background and experience.

Headings: Each section must be introduced by a bold heading to ensure an easy read.

Font type: Choose a clear font like or Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, or Helvetica. You can use different fonts but make sure you pick a sans serif one to keep the document more fluid and readable. 

Font size and page margins: The body of your CV should be between 10 and 12 point font, and your headings between 14 and 18 points. Keep your page margins around 2.5cm, but never reduce them to less than 1.27cm or your CV will appear cluttered. Use white space to ensure clarity.

Proofreading and consistency: Your formatting must be consistent throughout your CV.

File type: Save your CV as a pdf file so it will maintain formatting, and ensure that employers will be able to open it on any devise. Keep the file under 5MB to maximise deliverability on most email platforms. 

Then, start with creating a CV outline divided into the following sections:

CV Header with Contact Information

Personal Profile

Work Experience

Education Skills

Additional Sections

Additional Tips: If you’re unsure of how to format your CV, it’s worth downloading a few CV templates. There are plenty of free templates available online.

Get photos off of your CV. Unless you’re explicitly asked to include your photograph in the job ad. If so, make sure to use a professional looking picture.

format cv

2/ Add accurate contact information

You want the recruiters to get back to you, so you need to let them know how they can reach you.

In the contact information section, enter your:

Full name

Professional title

Email address

Telephone number

LinkedIn profile

Home address

Be aware that recruiters will use it to research you online. If your social media profiles are unprofessional, or if your LinkedIn profile information doesn’t match that on your CV, you will be most likely be dismissed straight away.

contact info

3/ Consider the job you are applying for

Research the company. A good CV is tailored to the specific job and company you are applying for. Make sure that you know what the company does, what is their mission statement, what skills does the specific job you are applying for require…

Check the company’s website for extra information about the CV and read the job description as many times as required in order to make sure you understand what are the important skills required for the job, highlight those in your CV.

consider the job

4/ Start with a personal profile

A personal profile statement is a short, snappy paragraph of about 100 words. It should tell recruiters why you are fit for the job. You can state skills that you master, but can also highlight your career progress and achievements. 

personal profile

5/ List Your Relevant Work Experience & Key Achievements

Your work experience section is the most important part of your CV.
Note that recruiters don’t only want to know what you did, they want to know how well you did it, so you need to focus on your measurable, relevant achievements, not just your duties.

Again, read the job description carefully and check what tasks will be expected of you. If you’ve done them before, include them on your CV even if those weren’t your primary responsibilities.

relevant experience

6/ Build Your CV Education Section

If you’ve got any post-secondary education, don’t mention your high school, unless it’s your highest degree of education and start listing your secondary education.

If you’re still studying, enter your expected graduation date, your degree, institution name, sub-hons (if applicable)

Additional tip: Including your honours is optional, so only include them if you received  a 2:1 or higher for the undergrad degrees, and “merit” or “distinction” for postgrads.

education

7/ Put Relevant Skills that Fit the Job Opening

When it comes to skills for a CV, the ones you decide to include on your CV have to be relevant to the job you’re trying to land.

When you list your skills, add a short description of each to indicate your level of proficiency. For example “Excellent,” “Advanced,” or “Basic.”

relevant skills

8/ Include Additional CV Sections to Impress the Recruiter

On your CV, include an additional section in which you can highlight things that prove your value as a candidate.

For example:

Professional certifications

Publications

Professional affiliations

Conferences attended

Additional training

If this additional section is well executed, this section is the one that can make you stand out from the crowd and get you preferred over another candidate with similar background and experience.

additional sections

9/ Proofread and layout

Check your spelling and grammar. Poor spelling is the quickest way to get rejected.  Take extra care to typos and inaccuracies; Triple check your document and use an intelligent spellcheckers like Grammarly.

Proofread for any sentences that could be written more concisely. CVs that are concise and well-written tend to do better than long-winded CVs that have repetitive information. 

Get someone else to read your CV, and ask them if they think something could be added or taken out. Would they hire you if they were a company?

proofread

10/ Complement Your CV with a Cover Letter

The cover letter allows you to target the job and the employer in a very specific way, leaving the CV to market your skills, qualities and experience as a part of the bigger picture.

Stay tuned for our next blog post dedicated to cover letters!

Once you covered those 10 tips to write a great CV, check out the top 10 jobs you can land using your language skills.

One thought on “10 tips to write a great CV for your next dream job

  1. […] Creating a resume is particularly difficult when you’re just out of school and have little to no “real world” work experience; however, you may have more experience than you realise. In addition to internships, consider any volunteer work you’ve done or leadership positions you held as part of a campus organisation. Try these tips for creating your first resume. […]

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