10 Tips For Writing A Good CV - The Ultimate Guide
Updated: 8 hours ago
Writing a good CV is the initial step to getting an interview for the job you are applying for.
A well-written CV should showcase your unique skills and work experience, as well as highlight your professional qualifications and achievements.
In this article, we will give you our top 10 tips on how to write a CV that will help you stand out from the other candidates applying for the same role.
We'll cover topics such as how to format your CV, how to tailor it to different job roles, what information you should include, what to avoid and much more.
Table Of Contents
1. Tailor Your CV To The Job Your Applying For
Customizing your CV to reflect the particular skills and experience relevant to that particular role is important.
To do this, focus on showcasing certain aspects of your skills and experience related to the given job description.
For example, if you are applying for a luxury retail customer service position, include experience where you have worked in a similar role.
Additionally, make sure your language is specific and tailored towards what the hiring manager is looking for – use words from the job posting itself whenever possible to make it clear you've actually read the job spec.
2: Highlight Achievements
Everyone has accomplishments they can be proud of, and including these on your resume is a great way to make sure potential employers are aware of them.
Whether it's receiving recognition from peers, completing a project on time and under budget, or increasing revenue because of your sales skills, all of these successes should be given the attention they deserve. We highly recommend you include them on your CV.
3. Keep It Concise.
Whether spoken or written, the key to being concise is simple: never use two words when one will do.
When writing, be sure to use language that is clear and direct; avoid long-winded phrases and language, as it can often obscure what you are trying to say and can be difficult for readers to digest.
If a sentence feels too long, break it up into easier-to-digest chunks of text with shorter sentences and phrases in between them.
The same goes for speaking; it's important that you stay focused on the main points of your speech or presentation so as not to lose your audience's interest.
4. Provide References
When writing a good CV, it is important to include references. When employers receive your resume, they may want to contact someone who can vouch for the skills and experiences you have listed on your CV.
Providing references will give employers an additional sense of assurance that you are qualified for the job.
Your references should be individuals who know you professionally and can speak positively about your work ethic, qualifications and character.
You may choose former employers or supervisors, colleagues or teachers you had in college as potential references.
Be sure to ask for permission before listing someone as a reference and provide their contact information so that employers can get in touch with them easily.
5: Avoid Clichés
When writing your CV, it is important to avoid overused phrases and clichés, as these can make your CV sound generic and dull.
Try to focus on describing yourself interestingly and uniquely while still providing the same amount of information.
For example, instead of simply saying you are “hardworking” or “detail-oriented”, provide examples of times when you have demonstrated those qualities.
This will help to demonstrate who you are and your value to potential employers, and it also sets you apart from other interviewees.
Additionally, try not to be too general about your skills; provide specific details about them so that it is clear what abilities you possess and how they can benefit the company.
6: Include Keywords
It’s important to use keywords that accurately describe your experience and skills. This can help employers quickly identify the qualifications and experiences that they have that match their company’s needs.
Take a close look at the job description or advertisement and use the language they used in describing the ideal candidate to create your own list of relevant keywords.
Make sure to include these words throughout your CV, including in job titles, descriptions of accomplishments and duties, special projects and programs you have been involved with, and any awards or recognitions you have received.
By using these targeted words strategically throughout your CV, recruiters will see how qualified you are for the position immediately.
7: Check Spelling/Grammar
Using correct spelling and grammar is essential as it reflects the care that you have taken in preparing your application.
This may seem like an obvious point. However, mistakes can easily be overlooked – especially when you’ve been staring at the same document for hours on end!
Allocate a separate amount of time to proofreading your CV thoroughly and make sure to get someone else to check it too; two pairs of eyes are better than one!
Although tools like spell check help identify errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar, they should not be relied upon entirely.
8: Showcase Soft Skills
Tip 8 of 10 for writing a good CV focuses on showcasing your soft skills, which are personal attributes that enable you to interact effectively and harmoniously with others.
These may include communication, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership and interpersonal skills.
When listing your soft skills, it is important to be specific and provide examples of when you have demonstrated those qualities.
For instance, instead of simply saying “good communication skills”, explain how you use these to convey complex information in an understandable way or how they were useful in building relationships with customers or colleagues.
It is also beneficial to demonstrate how your soft skills add value to the job or company you could be working for in the future.
Including soft skills can help potential employers see that you possess qualities beyond technical expertise and make them more likely to consider you as a candidate for the role.
9: List Relevant Hobbies/Interests
Your CV isn’t just about showcasing your professional experience; it's also a chance to showcase who you are as a person.
Include any hobbies or interests that could demonstrate skills or experiences that may be relevant to the job you are applying for.
For instance, if you are looking for a fashion-related role and you are passionate about fashion, be sure to mention this on your CV.
You could even include any work experience placements if it's related to the industry in which you are seeking a job in.
Make sure not to go overboard with your hobbies and interests section; two or three activities should suffice.
10: Consider Formatting Options
Regarding formatting your CV, there are a few main options you can choose from. One popular choice is the chronological format, which lists your past experience and qualifications in reverse chronological order in bullet points.
This is the best option if you have a long work history and a wide range of accomplishments. Alternatively, if you are just starting out or don’t have much experience, the functional format may be more suitable.
This type of CV focuses on highlighting relevant skills rather than emphasizing past employers or job titles.
For example, if you’re applying for a job that requires strong customer service skills, you could list any courses that demonstrate your abilities here.
To conclude, writing a good CV is an important step to securing the job of your dreams.
With the right format and content, you can effectively showcase your skills and experience whilst creating a strong first impression with potential employers.
Start by understanding what recruiters are looking for in CVs - they want concise information that highlights qualifications and achievements without being too lengthy or cluttered, be sure to provide relevant references and showcase your soft skills.
Additionally, ensure your CV is formatted correctly, and your grammar and spelling are correct.
If you follow our 10 tips on making a good CV, you will be one step closer to landing that all-important interview and if you need help or advice regarding job interviews, please check out our full job interview guide here.