CVs are designed to achieve one basic thing – to sell yourself just enough to get an interview. On average, the employer or recruiter reads each CV for just 15 seconds before dismissing it. Yours must stand out from the 200+ other CVs submitted.
In essence, you need to make your CV easy to scan read.
Use our simple points as guidance as to how your CV should be laid out to ensure your most important details get read:
∙ Highlight the main ideas by using bullet points, numbering, and bold headings. Eyes glaze over at the sight of cramped text and numerous paragraphs, but a bulleted format can be read much faster and easier.
∙ Don’t use too small a font size (anything less than 10 is too small). Be sure to leave plenty of white space. Most importantly, stress your competitive advantage and differentiate yourself from the competition right from the off with a short list of relevant skills, or two or three achievement highlight bullets.
∙ Do try to use larger fonts for the more important lines on your CV (e.g. name, job title, categories/sub-headings).
∙ Use tabs to have important elements line up so they are easy to scan. For instance, have your employment dates all aligned on the left or right border.
Your CV needs to be concise, usually no more than 1-2 pages long, with factual and positive listing of your education (when needed), employment history and accomplishments. The information on your CV should be relevant, supporting your job or career objective directly and your character in general.
Finally, the most important thing to do before submitting any CV for any job is to proofread, proofread, proofread! Have a trusted friend (or several) read your resume and give you honest feedback to make sure it sounds great. Then find someone you know, maybe a teacher or professional who has exceptional spelling and punctuation. Get them to check it for mistakes. Never ever submit a resume with spelling errors.
Oh, and a good way to annoy any prospective employer is to give them a nasty computer virus! Always perform a quick virus check on any files you email over.