As employers see a lot of CVs, it’s wise to avoid imitating so-called ‘standard CV samples’. You can score bonus points instead if your CV is just that little bit different and has your own personal stamp on it. In order to do this, follow these tips:
1 It’s good to start with a personal profile/objective statement. This is a two or three-sentence overview of your skills, hopes and plans. It should encourage the employer to read your CV.
2 You may add a photograph of yourself. But make sure it’s not very old.
3 Always print your CV on a standard A4, plain white or pale coloured paper. Use matching envelopes. Make sure to send a brief customised letter along with it.
4 Presentation is extremely important, so make sure your CV is typed or word-processed. Leave plenty of space between paragraphs and allow adequate margins on both sides.
5 Use plain English. Avoid professional jargon. Use positive language and adopt a confident tone. Keep paragraphs short, preferably no longer than five-six lines. Your CV should not exceed two pages in length. However, if your breadth of experience merits it, you can justify a CV that runs to four pages.
6 Use bold letters and/or underline the important headings. But do not use different font types or sizes. l Don’t include the date on which your CV has been prepared as this might send the wrong signals. Maintain a file on your achievements, no matter how insignificant they may appear. They may make the basis for a good CV.
7 Remember to give each of the persons you've mentioned a reference copy of your CV.
8 Keywords are a powerful tool in your CV and must be used. Use keywords to summarise your experience. These will also help ensure that your CV comes up when employers search in their CV databases.
9 Avoid lengthy and boring job descriptions; whenever possible, write your job description in bullet form. Make sure potential employers understand how they will benefit from employing you. Employers need to see your achievements and understand how you’re able to implement these.
The writer is the author of Body Language: Your Success Mantra.