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21 Professional tips for CV Writing (2020)

CV Writing

A CV is a detailed document, containing the step by step journey of your career including all sorts of personal information. Writing a CV can be a complex job as it is your first opportunity to make a good impression. Hence listed below are 21 professional tips for CV writing:

    1. Relevance: Your CV is the first window through which the interviewer peeks into your skills and qualifications. Make sure your CV contains all relevant information about your educational achievements and on-field work experiences. Providing relevant information shows that you have understood and considered the job description keenly.
    2. Keep it Simple: Remember that your CV is your own PR representative. Use it as a tool to illustrate your achievements and success. Keep the style clean and simple. Don’t use complex styles which hinders a bird’s-eye view for the recruiter.
    3. Length: Ideally desired length of a CV is 2 pages. You may extend to a bit more but not more than three! Any recruiter won’t invest more than 30 seconds on your CV. Making a lengthy CV increases the possibility than your CV may end up being rejected. Be precise and on point.
    4. Format: Formatting is an important step in preparing a desired CV. Always use a simple font and appropriate font size, break text up, avoid spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, do not use pictures and decrease the use of funky layouts. Make it as painless as possible for the recruiter to find the information they need.
    5. Highlighting: The first quarter of your CV is the first thing that any recruiter would look at. Make sure it is packed with key words that you want to highlight in your CV that your recruiter might want to see. This will instantly grab their attention.
    6. Language: Your CV should be a gleaming example of your written communication skills, so ensure that you write in a consistent professional manner. Construct sentences properly and use a wide vocabulary. Avoid using a flowerful language which may confuse the reader and provoke the possibility of different meanings from different point of view.
    7. Alluring Profile: The beginning of your CV is a crucial part, as it is the first thing noticed by the recruiter. Make a big impact by adding a punchy profile to your CV. Make sure to keep it short and sharp, summarizing all your valuable skills.
    8. Contact Details: If while drafting your CV you include certain contact details like an email ID; ensure that no slang or lingo is included in the same. Use a professional email ID in your CV. Keep it simple to make the document look decent.
    9. Avoid Generic Cliché: Don’t use generic phrases and adjectives to describe yourself. Use of such language doesn’t give any information about your achievements to the recruiter.
    10. Avoid using Photographs: Adding a photograph to your CV is useless and may also seem a little cheesy at times. The recruiter is more interested in your skills, experiences and knowledge you possess. Save up space in your CV to include more relevant information.
    11. Color Combinations: Adding a splash of color to your CV will increase visibility but do not overuse colors. Avoid using neon colors to highlight certain points. Keep it professional by not using more than two colors throughout the CV.
    12. Skill Graphs: Skill graphs are relative representation of your skills in graphical form. They do not provide factual information to the recruiter about your skills. Instead, quote real and tangible facts which guides the recruiter towards your actual skill set.
    13. Page Transitioning: Your CV is a professional document; hence it must look neat. While drafting your CV make sure that transitioning of sections of your CV are nice and tidy and that there are no sloppy errors.
    14. Use Bullet Pointers: Recruiters usually will not go through huge chunks of text to find the information they are looking for. Prefer using bullet points to make it easy for recruiters to skim read.
    15. Personal Details: While drafting a CV, ensure that you do not include excessive and unnecessary personal details.
    16. Be Truthful: Don’t invent experiences or claim to hold imaginary qualifications. A white lie may get you through the interview stage, but the interviewer will easily catch you out if you don’t appear to know what you are talking about.
    17. Sectioning: Dividing your CV sections clearly will help you classify information in a proper manner as well as allow easy navigation of your CV by recruiters. Sectioning your CV neatly will help you overcome the drawback of limited space.
    18. Usage of Facts and Figures: Instead of stating mere adjectives to define your skills and experiences, back up your achievements with tangible figures to quantify your value to the recruiters.
    19. Proofread: Before taking your CV to the job market, proofread your CV three to four times. If unsure, get it checked by a professional. It takes only one spelling mistake or grammatical error to get your CV to the trashcan of the recruiter.
    20. Emailing: If your drafted CV is to be emailed to the recruiter, the following points shall be considered:
      1. Follow recruiter’s instructions: The thumb rule of emailing a CV is to follow specific instructions given by the recruiter for the same. Employers are less likely to select applicants who do not follow specifications provided.
      2. Subject: the subject of your email shall never be left blank. It seems unprofessional and may provoke the reader to send it straight to the junk box. Try to keep it short, simple and relevant.
      3. Salutation: Always follow the rules of courtesy and politeness. Use appropriate form of address such as Sir/ Mam as it is most likely that you know the recruiter.
      4. Content: the content of your email shall be your cover letter. It is not considered a best practice to end both your cover letter and CV as an attachment. The purpose of your cover letter is to get the employer to read your CV, so make sure it is properly drafted in the email format.
      5. File Name: your CV is to be sent as an attachment to your email. Do not simply name it as “CV”. Make sure to add your name in the file name to make it easy for the recruiter to differentiate your CV from that of others.
      6. File Format: MS word is the universally accepted CV file format. If you send your CV in a different file format there is a possibility that the recruiter may not be able to read it. Also, there may be instances where the recruiter needs to make certain quick change before forwarding your CV to the hiring manager.
      7. Email ID: make sure to use your professional email ID to mail your CV to the recruiter. Do not use any personal email ID for this purpose.
    21. Social Media Management: A recent study has revealed that most recruiters search the applicant’s social media profiles before making any decisions. Make sure your social media profiles are well dressed and presentable. Also ensure that your linkedin profile is well maintained and updated.

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