20 time-tested and proven CV writing tips

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It is a very tough job market. You troll the job boards sending out 100s of CVs with no reply. What no one tells you, hiring managers review 100s of CVs for the posted job and only, on average, 5 applicants are selected. So, how to be one of the five that are selected for the interview? This guide will help you write your CV to get it the best possible chance of being selected and if you find you need further help, Exclusive Career Advice offers a CV writing service for you.

  1. Contact details

You CV needs to include your contact details and should also be placed as a header or a footer on your CV.

2. Profile

If you desire, you can add 1 – 3 sentences at the beginning of your CV a profile, summarising your skills and experiences, as it relates to the advertised role. As a part of your profile statement you can include the name of the role and the business.

3. Email address must be work appropriate

Ideally, when including your email address, it should be a variation of your name and it should be from a trusted email source (e.g. your ISP provider, google, Microsoft, yahoo, etc).

4. Font must be readable

Font size should, in most cases, be 11 – 14 points. Font type should be Calibri, Times New Roman, Georgia or Franklin Gothic. As for Arial, avoid using. Arial is okay if you are using a lot of white space, but Arial can become difficult to read if white space is kept to a minimum. Finally, try using bold for headings and work history.

5. Use white space

White space is the area not used on your page. When it is combined with type if can be immensely powerful and make your CV easy to read.

6. Multiple lines

Experiment with different spacing to make your CV easier to read. Avoid using single spacing.

7. Colour of your page should be white, off white, or 18% grey

Colour of paper influences the recruiting manager’s ability to read. White, off white, and a light grey paper are the best for reading.

8. First person present is the preferred writing perspective

Using action words and avoiding using past tense will keep readers engaged with your CV

9. Use parallel construction

When reviewing your CV make sure you keep consistency with the words, phrases, clauses, and tense.

10. Explain Gaps

In essence, your CV tells the story of your work experience. If you have a gap in employment then that will need to be included. The explanation does not need to be a novella and it can be a sentence or a few words like, “attended university September 2014 – May 2018.”

11. Chronological Resume, CV, if you have work experience

Chronological resume, CV, is a format that lists your job in chronological order, and it should be used if you have at least 2 – 3 years work experience.

12. Skills Based Resume, CV, if you are changing careers or entering the work force.

A skills-based resume, CV, is a CV focusing your skills and training instead of work experience. This type of CV is well-suited for graduates entering the workforce for the first time, those who have been unemployed for a while, or those looking to make a career change.

13. Avoid putting a picture of yourself on your resume, CV

Some career sites advocate using pictures; however, Exclusive Career Advice does not. Reason for not including a picture on your CV, Exclusive Career Advice is about diversity, equality, and fairness. By putting your picture on your CV, you are increasing the likelihood that you will experience discrimination based on age, race, gender, religion, or disability. Furthermore, you are allowing employers to judge your ability solely based on looks instead of ability. Therefore, Exclusive Career Advice recommends not providing a picture of yourself on your CV.

14. Your current job should contain the most detail

Your CV should not be longer than 2 pages and it will need to contain several pieces of information. Therefore, planning how you use the 2 pages is vital. If you are preparing a chronological CV, then your first job will contain the most detail. Since, employers tend to be the most interested in what you are currently doing. In contrast, if you are preparing a skills-based CV then you will include your current job but the information you will put will much more limited.

15. Does your work experience support your profile

Check your statement in your profile and check you work history supports what you are stating.

16. Should you include volunteering experience?

This is a complex question. There are several factors to consider such as:

  • How many hours a week you were volunteering
  • The type of volunteering work you were doing
  • Does it relate to the role you are applying?
  • How long you have been volunteering.
  • Does your volunteering reveal a protected characteristic that you wish your potential employer does not know?

If you are unemployed then volunteering can begin filling a gap in your history. Likewise, it shows an interest in your community and helping others. It speaks to who you are. The downside to volunteering, if for example you are an unemployed project manager and you spend 3 hours a week stuffing envelope for your local surgery, there is little from that experience you can use. In Exclusive Career Advice opinion, including volunteering experience on your CV is a personal choice that should be guided by the outcome you desire and how including your volunteering experience helps you reach that goal.

17. Read the job advert and avoid sending out generic resume, CV

By tailoring your CV’s content to the job being advertised and presenting relevant information will increase your chance by 60%.

18. Only include skills and training that is relevant to the role being advertised

It is important to ensure only the skills, training, and accomplishments that relate to the role are included.

19. Length should be no longer than 2 pages

A CV only will get you the interview and, in all honesty, little time is taken reviewing a CV. If you are a recent graduate, then ideally your CV should be no longer than a page and if you have some work experience then it should be no longer than 2 pages. Unless you are including academic research work, publications, intellectual property you have created or companies you have done contracting work, then your CV should be no longer than 2 pages.

20. Before sending spell and grammar check it.

Microsoft Word and various other software is available to spell check and grammar check your CV. Make sure you review your CV before sending for any errors. If you need someone to review, for a nominal fee Exclusive Career Advice offers a Resume Review service.

How can Exclusive Career Advice help you?

Exclusive Career Advice is here to help you. If you want to discuss our Resume Review service or any other service please use the below form or visit our contact us page.

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18 Proven CV Tips
Article Name
18 Proven CV Tips
Your resume, CV, will only be looked at for no more than a few seconds to a few minutes. Exclusive Career Advice 18 Proven Resume Tips is written to help you troubleshoot your resume and get the interview you deserve.
Author: admin
Before moving to the United Kingdom, I worked in the U.S.A as a supply teacher who primarily taught math and taught at alternative education sites (e.g. juvenille detention, behaviour classrooms, and sites for students that were court ordered).When I moved to United Kingdom I chose to draw on my adaptive software skills knowledge. Whereby I developed administration and IT skills. Through my hard work I progressed into a senior health care manager role.I have several years experience in interviewing, reviewing applications and managing a team. Drawing on my experiences, I have created this site to help you.

12 thoughts on “20 time-tested and proven CV writing tips

  1. This is a must for fresh graduates although for now this maybe the least of our problems. i guess this is still applicable but how effective considering everything is online is fifty fifty. With everyone on their knees due to this crisis a digital way maybe the only way. Meaning traditions may change soon even for this.

  2. This post is very educative. The one that will be very funny will be one adding photos to the CV this will be very hilarious. But all your points are valid

  3. Thia piece is well detailed. It is a sigh of relief for me as person because everything I need is in their. It is as if it was put to together for me. I love every of piece because I feel every detail will surely help me in the course of putting in a CV for myself.

  4. Well written article I must confessed. This article is detailed enough to write a premium CV that will cath the interest of employers. I hope frustrated job-seekers will read this and tailored their CV to accomodate the points on this post.

  5. This is very nice article for all the people who are going to give interview from a fresher to a person who has given many time. All the thing is included here

  6. Thank you for this detailed tips. One of the error I have made in making my CV is the white spaces. Perhaps this could be the reason why my profile haven’t been shortlisted.

  7. It is a very tough job market. You troll the job boards sending out 100s of CVs with no reply.

  8. It is a very tough job market. You troll the job boards sending out 100s of CVs with no reply.

  9. These tips on how to write a C.V are really great, I will say I have learnt a thing or two from this. But who in there right senses would add their picture to a C.V sounds really fumny. However though, I was once told to send my picture together with my application but not on my C. V.

  10. About the gap in CVs, I never take note of that. This just means I really need update my CV. Wow, this an eye opener guys. Thanks

  11. The points are very grasping and informative if someone is looking for advice on how to make their CV. The most appealing part to me was the “color” and “not to put own image on CV”.

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