Create a Killer Resume and Cover Letter

Top 6 Do’s & Don’ts When Creating Your CV

create your resume
Table of Contents  
  1. Do’s
  2. Don’ts

Spending a lot of time on getting your CV right will ultimately make a major difference to your employability. From Charity Jobs through to new positions after University, or even a short-term contract, a poorly designed and written CV will not improve your chances of getting work. A CV shouldn’t be overly complicated, but should accurately demonstrate your achievements and emphasize key items that you feel will be ideal for a specific role. At the same time, you need to be able to construct a sense of your professional identity and career plan. Some things to focus on in a CV, and things to avoid, include:

Do’s

1 – Keep Things Simple

A well-designed CV should be simple enough to make an instant impact on a reader. Fonts and general design should be simple and focused on not overloading a page with text. In the same way, try to avoid using images or any details that might show up badly on a PDF or a printout. You should also be ruthless in terms of cutting out any information that is not essential to the job that you are applying for.

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This information might include everything from old jobs that were part-time or temporary and have no impact on your current career plans, through to work experience and other experiences.

2 – Explain Skills Gained From Particular Jobs

Every job and training course that you list should ideally include a few notes on the skills and the experiences gained during their completion. You should also explain what your responsibilities were in these roles and whether you gained experience of using a particular form of software or received any in-job training.

3 – Tailor to Specific Jobs

If you are going for a particular kind of job, you need to be able to know what your CV should emphasize. For example, a charity job application will benefit by expanding on voluntary experience and skills that you can adapt into a professional position. You should also be able to adapt experiences in a particular job to demonstrate how they would be transferred to a new position.

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Don’ts

4 – Avoid Spelling and Grammar Errors

A few errors in presentation and style will ultimately lead to someone dropping your CV in favor of another, despite your qualifications. This problem can be avoided through proofreading, and by making sure that you always have enough time before a submission date to get someone else to read through your work.

“Paying attention to your periods and commas could mean the difference between a call back and never hearing anything. Proofread it one more time before you send it off.

A perfectly written resume could even be your competitive edge, says Keith Wolf, managing director of Murray Resources. “As simple as they may be to avoid, spelling errors and typos are the most common mistakes we see in resumes. They’re particularly damaging because they convey to potential employers that an applicant lacks attention to detail.” – Monster.com

Use spellcheck and tool such as Grammarly to ensure all errors are captured and corrected.  Leverage your friends and family to check your CV and give suggestions.

5 – Distort Jobs

Don’t make it out that you had more responsibilities, or gained more skills, in certain jobs. The truth will eventually catch up with you and will lead to problems with employers. In the same way, don’t distort your qualifications, even if it’s only by a grade or so. Again, the punishment by an employer can be severe.

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If you want to get noticed, you are going to have to step up your game and create an outstanding resume that will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers.

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6 – Skip Important Information

Make sure that you include any information that you feel is relevant, particularly if your CV is a little thin. As long as you can make a note explaining how the experience or achievement was important, and how it impacts on a new job, it can help to create an impressive CV.

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