How To Write An Attractive CV
Every job applicant should have a CV, Scratch that, every adult should have a CV. As an adult who is career conscious and passionate about your job, a CV is a necessity, not just a CV but a very well-drafted CV.
Certain situations call for the need to introduce yourself and state your qualification. This is where the need for a CV arises.
The focal point is understanding what a CV is; without this, there will be no understanding of how a good CV should be.
A CV is an acronym for Curriculum Vitae, a document used to summarize the general qualification of an individual.
The CV usually contains a summary of your educational qualifications, skills and experience, and the main aim of a CV is to sell yourself concisely to your prospective employer. In the US and Canada, CVs are known as Resume.
Drafting a CV has no rule or order; you just have to hit the nail on the head while making your qualification and expertise attractive enough for your prospective employer to consider.
Although most people follow a default template to draft their CV, to these persons, this is a more straightforward method of drafting out a CV. This method makes your CV appear bland, uninteresting and look or sound robotic.
Remember, we have emphasized earlier that a CV should be concise. Being concise does not mean being robotic, short and uninteresting.
It simply means going straight to the point where you sell yourself through your qualifications in a manner that sounds interesting.
This is to avoid being a bore to an employer who has several other CVs to attend to. Therefore, to write an attractive Curriculum Vitae, below are a few points to consider.
How To Write An Attractive CV
It is said that a substantial building is determined by the foundation that was laid. A strong foundation will birth a firm structure and vice versa.
In writing a CV, you must be concerned about the beginning of the CV, for it is the beginning that will determine if the employer will be interested in the CV.
Most employers are impatient; they may only need to skim through the first paragraph of your CV and draw a conclusion since there’s a possibility of your CV being dumped after the first paragraph.
You have to start your CV with a summary of your skills and significant accomplishments. This will serve as a catchment area for your employer.
This first paragraph embodies your profile, an essential part of a CV. It tells the recruiter who you are, what you can do and your capabilities. Remember, at this point, you want to make the right impression about yourself.
Emphasize On Results You Have Attained
This works every time! People are already bored with the regular introduction, but the introduction of results on your CV will enhance lost interest on the employer’s part.
Remember, employers, are looking out for what works. It is left for you to show them your work. You can achieve this by not just merely showing off your past responsibilities but showcase results with definitive proof using quantifiable data to showcase the results.
This means that instead of saying that you improved sales in QRS company, you should say through your skills that sales improved by 50% in QRS company. This will give the employer a better insight into how much you added value to the company.
Compose Your CV In Line With The Requirement Of The Company
In placing adverts for a vacancy, the employers must know what they want or expect from applicants. They state the requirements and qualifications verbatim.
Therefore, as an applicant, when applying for these jobs, look out for the conditions. If it’s one you have experience in, draft your CV in line with the requirements.
The emphasis is laid on selling yourself, explaining to your recruiter exactly why you’re the best for the job, and relating your accomplishments in line with the stated Job role.
This act alone can make the recruiter more interested in your CV than others. Doing this shows that you will make a good employee who can easily understand and follow instructions.
Recruiters have limited time on their part, so they look out for CVs that hit the nail on the head while looking attractive.
Talk About Your Growth And Development
While you must have occupied positions in previous organizations where you have worked, you must have learnt a lot of things in the process. You may have learnt leadership, accountability, teamwork etc., and it is imperative to describe all of this in your CV.
This will enhance the interest the recruiter will have in you.
Talking about the several levels of development in your career will show the recruiter that you have learnt a lot in your past job and that you are a committed prospective employee committed to learning and development.
While talking about this development, also emphasize the networks you have surrounded yourself with over time.
Networking is proof that you have effective communication with everyone around you. This will give you an edge as the recruiter is looking for one who can effectively communicate with customers.
Use Of “Keywords”
Certain words are described as power words, such that when used in a CV, they can give your CV a boost and other good impacts.
These power words include Adaptable, innovative, achieved and implemented. After making use of these power words, follow them up with practical examples of all you have performed so far in your career.
These practical examples are results or outcomes demonstrating everything you have achieved.
It is exciting to know that companies have database software in place to filter out candidates who do not use these keywords. So while preparing your CV, ensure you understand the major requirements and then draft the CV in line with the requirements using these power words.
Prove That You Understand The Industry
As stated earlier, draft the CV in line with the industry and its requirements. This shows you’re interested in the industry and stay abreast with current information about the company. This makes your CV look more attractive to the recruiter.
Having current information about the industry where you will submit your CV can also help you during your interview.
How Long should A CV Be?
This depends on the experience and qualifications of the individual. A CV, by default, should not be longer than two sides of an A4 paper.
For instance, a graduate who just left the college may not have so much experience and qualifications aside from his course of study and may only need one side of an A4 paper to draft his CV.
Then another highly qualified person with years of experience in his field, who occupies a managerial role, may need more than the two sides of an A4 paper.
It is important to note that to be concise, never avoid talking about your experience. This experience is your selling point, don’t sell it short!
However, to save space, only emphasize your educational qualifications and experience. Do not repeat what must have been said in your cover letter.
What Should A CV Should Contain
This includes your full name, current home address, email address and phone number. Most people have the date of birth which is irrelevant. Except you’re applying for a modelling job, or your recruiter demands it, this is irrelevant.
This is usually written at the beginning of the CV. It is a summarized but concise information registered with the main aim of selling oneself to the recruiter and standing out from the crowd.
A profile outlines your experience, educational qualifications and achievements. A good profile should emphasize the industry you’re applying to avoid chaos and loss of interest on the part of the recruiters.
A good CV must contain details on your educational background. Educational background includes professional qualifications. You have them by placing the most recently acquired certificate first. The qualification type, its grade and the date acquired should be included.
This is one essential detail in a CV; it should be written in reverse chronological order. This means new work experience comes first, and the old work experience comes last.
Whatever details on work experience you outline in the CV should align with the job you’re applying for.
When citing details of your work experience, include the job title, the company’s name and how long you worked with the organization, along with your responsibilities attached.
For one with a long list of relevant work experience, this detail should be outlined before the educational qualifications.
Skills and Achievements
This is the part where you include all the skills you have acquired over the past few years. It can be digital marketing skills, soft skills, language skills, IT packages and the rest.
These skills to be mentioned should be skills that you can comfortably use and that align with the job description.
Remember not to exaggerate on things you can do. This is because you’ll be required to back up these claims during the interview. It is advisable to draft a skill-based CV if you have many job-specific skills.
Asides from the skills, educational qualifications and achievements, what else are you interested in? Interests people often put down as details on their CV include social interests, hobbies and other things you do when you may not be working.
However, these interests do not sound attractive to the recruiters, instead, give details of interests that capture a complete picture of who you are while igniting the interests of the recruiters.
This will give them something to talk about and engage you in a conversation during the interview. For example, if you’re applying as a journalist, you can include that you’re a part of a drama group and running a blog.
If you don’t have relevant interests related to the job description, it is advisable to leave out this section.
This is where you indicate referees to your person with details on how to reach them via the phone number, address or email.
If there’s enough space available, you can provide all three details to access them. However, giving reference at this stage is not very important; you can say “references will be provided upon request”.
Now we have outlined what a CV should contain. You should also note that when saving your CV document, never save it with “CV or Curriculum Vitae, or Document 1” instead, save it with a more professional name, like “Benny Clark-CV”, using your first name and last name, this way it looks more professional.
Also, avoid using “CV” as a title; let your full name serve as the title. Always make sure you save your CV as a PDF file to avoid mistakes and unwarranted edits on the CV unless the job or recruiters state otherwise, though, where they demand your CV and cover letter in word format.
As earlier stated, use an A4 paper to draft out your CV and also section your CV by differentiating headings from the body. Make the headers bolder with a larger font size of 14 or 16. Use professional fonts like Arial, Calibri and times new Romans with a consistent font size of 10 and 12.
To avoid congestion, give proper spacing and bullet points to emphasize while keeping your CV concise. This allows the recruiters to quickly skim through the CV and pick out vital points.
To capture the recruiter’s fancy on the best points, arrange and list everything in reverse chronological order. This way, recruiters will get to see your recent achievements first and weigh you by them.
Tenses and words play a huge role in drafting an attractive CV; your words must be simple yet catchy. You are advised to use active verbs like created, analyzed, prescribed, formulated and devised often.
These words will make the recruiters see you as one who is a problem solver and one with initiative.
Remember, a good CV is void of spelling and grammatical mistakes, use a grammar and spelling checker to scrutinize your writings. We recommend “GRAMMARLY”.
It is a norm to want to please and impress the recruiter. In trying to do this, please avoid exaggerating and also lying. This will only make you look dishonest to your recruiter, and this action also has serious consequences; it is a criminal offence.
Check online and in local newspapers to see if the company has been mentioned in spaces for a vacancy. Doing this will help tailor your CV towards the available role and the right employer.
Remember to permanently attach a cover letter to your CV, except if the recruiter demands otherwise, and ensure your email address appears very professional. If otherwise, it is advisable to create another strictly professional email for official purposes.
If you wish to post your CV publicly, maybe online via social media and its likes, remember to edit your address for safety purposes.
Finally, create a suitable CV for the right circumstances, and decide if the chronological order, skills and academic qualifications you have are the right ones for the CV you should create, which should be related to the job specifications.
If all the above is followed judiciously, you will be able to draft an attractive CV with no stress.
Furthermore, I believe this article will be helpful to you in your quest to draft an attractive CV. If yes, please do not forget to share with family and friends. If otherwise, leave a comment, and we will reply as soon as possible.
Also learn how to prepare for an interview.
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