You’ve ever heard the phrase “first impression matters?” It is also applicable to your CV. Whatever job sector you are targeting; as an intern, or the regular professional jobs, or even as a teacher with a local school, your CV should speak volumes for you. This means that the look of your CV would determine if an employer would dial your number or not – in most cases though.
There is no perfect way to write a CV, but there are methods to make it stand out as attractive. I have interviewed countless job seekers, and I have seen mistakes peculiar to them all.
If you don’t have reliable connections or networks to help you get a job with ease, you should focus on this article – to optimize your CV. Here are the 10 ways below.
1. Employ A Professional Font While Writing Your CV
The only mental idea every prospective employer creates about you is what your CV says about you. This means that you are being judged by what potential employers see on paper. If you want them to see you as a hire-able professional, then your CV should look professional.
Here are some few ways to go about that;
– Stick to Arial, Calibri or the Times New Roman Font.
– Don’t highlight any part of your resume with colours and fancy fonts.
– Use only font sizes of 11 or a maximum of 12.
2. Your Objective Should Answer The “What Do I Have To Offer?” Question
Always have this at the back of your mind. Using a copy and pasted objective that was drafted from a sample on a CV writing website is a CV killer. Hiring managers have seen such a couple of time, and they know exactly where you got it from. To create a wonderful objective, you should know the company needs and how you can be able to solve them – when you write it down. The moment you can attract the hiring officer’s attention, you are just a step closer from getting the job.
3. Give Attention To Your Educational Qualifications
Since it has been proven that the average maximum time to hold the attention of any hiring officer is 7 seconds, you should make the most out of it.
No one would want to swim in an ocean of information, just to see your educational qualification. It is one of the most important things in your CV. What you studied, any educational qualification that gives you an edge, and achievements you recorded should be paid attention to.
For those without work experience, you should focus more on optimizing this section, this section should be placed either at the top or centre of your CV – since it is where catches the recruiters’ attention the most.
4. List Out Valuable Work Experiences
Aside from your educational qualification, work experience can also be said to be the most important aspect of your CV. You should include any previous job you’ve handled in the past, your accomplishments on the job, and how it affected your previous firm positively.
Hint: This should be written in number and percentage form.
E.g. I succeeded in setting up 2 control panels that helped reduce the downtime in production by 90%.
You are free to use bold fonts to highlight your achievements, but it should be done with caution.
5. Highlight Your Skills
There should be a specific section designed to list out the skills you have in your possession. The fact is that recruiters don’t always need the regular skills being listed out by almost every job-seeker.
– Attention to detail
– Analytic Reasoning, etc. should be minimally used.
Just be sure to include skills that make you stand out, and also relevant to the job you are applying for.
6. Include Testimonials
I know a whole lot of job seekers won’t swallow this without a fight. The truth is who will believe all the numbers and percentages that you have outlined, without any form of proof? The best way to solidify your claim is to provide evidence from either a former boss or someone you have worked with before. If you can’t provide a testimonial, your CV might still look good all the same.
7. Create A Proper Sequence On Your CV
Since you have finally listed out the qualities that portray you as the best candidate, it is now important to make sure that your details follow a standard sequence.
After the Skill set summary (Objectives), you should follow it up with your educational qualifications, your work experience, core competencies, Seminars attended and Research works done.
8. Recheck For Grammatical Errors
Nothing kills a CV more than grammatical errors. How can you have good eyes for details, and you can’t detect simple grammatical errors? Be careful not to forget that your CV is an extension of you. Any rushed work without proofreading will not tell a good story about you. Endeavor to read out your write-up aloud and correct necessary errors.
9. Maintain A Great Online Profile
Most employers do a background check on several employees to be hired – in most cases, top level jobs. It is necessary you maintain an online profile that is in line with your career objectives. Nothing incriminating should be seen of your online profiles – most especially LinkedIn.
10. Keep Your CV Updated
Every new skilled acquired; every knowledge got, should be recorded properly and updated on your CV. This would help make your CV more attractive and up to date.
Aside from making your CV more attractive, you should also make sure that you tailor your CV specifically for the intended job role. Your CV is your professional personality on paper. It should be able to speak volumes for you.
If you can’t brand yourself on paper, make sure you hand it over to professionals to help you. As long as you get the job, who will care about how much was paid for the help in branding you?
Remember, getting a professional CV is the first step to actualizing your career goals.
Till we meet again, I wish you all the best in your job search.