Picture this: you’ve spent hours pouring over your CV and you’ve just clicked ‘print’, sighing with relief and taking a much deserved swig of tea. Your printer grunts through 100 copies, the ink still wet as you pick up the first to examine your mastery. You notice you’ve spelled curriculum wrong - and you suddenly want to tear your hair out.
We’ve all been there.
But what if there were an easy checklist to consult to make sure your CV was squeaky clean and bound to impress a recruiter or employer?
That’s where we come in. Our expert recruiters say these are things to tick off your checklist when on the quest for a perfect CV.
Have you asked someone else to look over your CV?
Often it’s near impossible to identify our own mistakes – especially if we’ve been staring at a screen for longer than we’d like to admit and a rogue comma or misspelling has become practically invisible. Make sure to ask someone else to proofread your CV; it’s likely that they’ll spot mistakes that you haven’t. And even if there aren’t any obvious spelling or grammar mistakes, it’s always good to get an objective opinion on your visual layout and content.
Is all the information relevant?
Scribing a novella under your ‘personal profile’ section detailing childhood memories or irrelevant hobbies is a no-no for CV. It goes without saying, but you have to keep it professional, and make sure that all info you include is relevant to the job or industry. Your marital status or a headshot may seem like a nice personal touch, but including things that don’t enhance your professional narrative likely means you won’t be taken seriously.
Is it professional?
More often than you’d expect our recruiters receive CV’s with inappropriate email addresses, inclusion of personal anecdotes or bizarre hobbies, ultra religious comments or colloquial statements. When this happens, 99% of the time the CV is instantly binned. Make sure to use sensible, formal language and only include details that are relevant professionally – no one wants to hear about the time you won a karaoke competition while on holiday in Ibiza when you’re applying for a job in HR.
Is my style and layout consistent?
Formatting mistakes or lack of consistency with style or layout will tell a recruiter that you’re not detail-oriented and that you haven’t taken the time or care to seriously apply for the role. If you’re using bullet points for lists then make sure you do so throughout, don’t use wacky fonts and be consistent with the ones you do use, and use your space efficiently – large sub headings and several pages of information won’t go down well.
How are my spelling, grammar and tone?
This seems like an obvious one – but impeccable spelling and grammar will set you well on your way to being taken seriously by a recruiter, while employing the appropriate tone. Your tone should be confident and formal but not resort to bragging, and it shouldn’t be littered with clichés or wordy jargon. Take the time to concisely recount experience and achievements with a personal flair.
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