In this blog, I want to discuss and provide some technical tips on the things to follow or to avoid when structuring a CV.
For recruiters involved in the CV screening phase of any recruitment campaign, important may be to find the ideal candidate in the shortest time possible, since the selection process generates expenses both in terms of costs and time. As such, it is important to have a CV that stands out and one way to do is to focus on the structure of the CV, in terms of layout and format, which is basically the first thing that recruiters will look at when going through the applications received. Here follow some tips in this regard:
First, tailor the elements of your CV to the job description. The advice here is to have a CV consisting of two sets of information, those ‘fixed’ and those ‘flexible’: examples of the former are the name, contact details, and academic studies, that are to be kept the same for every application, whereas examples of the latter are the personal statement, work experiences, professional skills and references, that are to be edited, highlighted, or even scrapped, according to the particular job requirements.
Second, use the listing format. Use bullet points and put the characters in bold when listing the most relevant tasks, modules, or skills. These should be put in reverse chronological order and be followed by few descriptive sentences made of action verbs.
Third, keep the wording simple, in terms of length, usually 2 pages max to be covered in full, font used, Arial and Calibri are the most popular ones, and font size, 11-12 preferably.
Fourth, proofread the CV backwards. By doing this, there are higher chances of noticing any typos or grammatical mistakes, since you are not reading according to the natural flow of the sentence.
Last, use your name as the title of the CV and save and submit it as a PDF document, it will definitely eliminate any potential downloading issue and its structure cannot be changed or edited.
First, do not use empty clichés. In the descriptions, objective statements such as ‘I am a hard worker’ or ‘I have very good time management skills’ will not set your CV apart from the crow, mostly because statements like these are expected and/or easily predictable by recruiters.
Second, do not forget that, as people say, appearance counts. A CV characterized by unusual fonts used throughout, irregular font sizes, or an empty half a page at the end will most likely displease the reader and let him assume that the effort put into your application was relatively low.
Third, do not include particular elements in the CV unless clearly requested in the job description. Examples are the headshot, salary expectations, religion, marital status.
Last but not least, do not forget to include the link to your LinkedIn profile in the contact details section. As a professional social media platform that is increasingly being involved in any recruiting campaign, a recruiter will be able to access in-depth descriptions of your personal profile, professional qualifications, and working experiences, which are not limited to the classic two pages of a resume.
Hopefully, the technical do’s and don’ts discussed in the paragraphs above will help you building a CV that draws recruiter’s attention. All the best!