Seven tips to make a job-winning CV
Can’t find work? Follow these tips from to impress a prospective employer.
Landing your dream job starts with your CV.
The curriculum vitae, or CV for short, is your future boss’ first impression of you.
This is your one chance to impress them enough that they want to pick up the phone to set up that interview. It needs to include the best things about you professionally (but not be so long they’re still reading three hours later). So how do you give yourself the best chance of getting an interview?
1. DON’T MAKE YOUR CV TOO LONG
Keep your CV as short and concise as possible; an ideal length is 2-3 pages. If you’re struggling to condense all your awesomeness to just a few pages, customise your CV to the job you’re applying for by omitting experience that isn’t relevant. On the flipside, if you’ve just left school or university, or haven’t been in the workforce for long, and don’t think you’ve got enough experience to really sell yourself, think about adding school or extra-curricular achievements.
2. USE HEADLINES
CVs aren’t easy reads, so be kind to the reader by laying it out in a way that’s painless to navigate. Use headlines to separate each section (like education, employment history and awards). Colour does not achieve anything; making it clear and easy to read with a well laid-out format does.
3. USE BULLET POINTS
Don’t be tempted to write a novel. Bullet points are easier to read than big chunks of text, especially when there are hundreds of other CVs vying for the reader’s attention.
4. ALWAYS SPELL-CHECK IT BEFORE YOU SUBMIT IT
CVs that are full of spelling mistakes make prospective employers question your attention to detail in real life. Always spell check your CV – and never use txt language. If in doubt, ask for a second opinion and have someone else check it over just in case.
5. DON’T GET TOO PERSONAL
CVs that are too formal make it hard for the reader to see what you might be like in real life, but CVs that get too personal, like how many kids you have or what you like doing on Friday nights, aren’t serious enough. Remember, you’re trying to get a job, not a date.
Find the fine line between showing that you really want the job and expressing your personality.
6. DON’T INCLUDE A PHOTOGRAPH
Including photographs in CVs is common practice overseas, but it’s not common in New Zealand.
If you do want to include a photo, don’t use passport photos (these can look like mugshots!) or photos taken by glamour photographers.
7. DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR CONTACT DETAILS
Finally, double-check your contact details before you submit your CV because, as obvious as it sounds, no one can call you if you forget the last digit of your phone number. Also, if you’re still using the same email address you made when you were 16, it might be worth setting up a new one – email@example.com isn’t very work-appropriate. Don’t forget a professional sounding voicemail.
Looking for a job? Neighbourly is a great place to find interesting work that’s close to home – and you might even find a local CV expert too.
Stand out from the crowd with a short, accurate and easy to read CV.