How to make the most of your Classic Green CV or résumé template
There is no one right way to create and finalise a CV but the following universal rules always need to be followed:
1. It is targetted on the specific role or industry you are aiming for and brings out the most significant skills you have to offer.
2. It is meticulously and clearly laid out, in a logical order, legible and not crowded.
3. It is enlightening but succinct.
4. It is devoid of any spelling and grammar errors. If you mention attention to detail as a skill, make sure your grammar and spelling is perfect.
In addition to these ‘musts’, here are our best tips for personalising this template:
1. Keep adjusting
If your CV is written backwards on luminous green paper and it lands you regular interviews, why think about changing it? The bottom line is that if it is getting results, don’t be too eager to interfere with a winning formula. Conversely, if it’s not getting you results, ask people you know to look at it and offer their thoughts. That said, if you go with the template on this page as a starting point, you’re unlikely to go far wrong.
2. Make it keyword friendly
If you’ve uploaded your curriculum vitae to a job website so employers can find you, keywords are extremely essential. Job titles plus job keywords can help search engines pick you out from the pile. To find ideas for keywords, carry out a search online and see what words are frequently mentioned when you put in your job title.
3. Get to the point
Normally a curriculum vitae should be no longer than two pages – and by that we mean two pages of A4 sheets of paper. Employers take, on average, only eight seconds looking at a particular curriculum vitae, and a quick way of landing your application on the rejected pile is to give them your entire life history. Maintain it punchy, to the point, and reserve the detail for the interview.
4. Add some spice
Image is everything nowadays, and it’s just as true for your CV. Take the time to perfecting how the curriculum vitae looks, in addition to the content. Use bullet points where it makes sense to do so, and keep sentences punchy. Use the graphic design trick of allowing lots of white space surrounding your text and around sections to make the page layout easy to read.
5. Customise it
We’ve all done it. Sending the same curriculum vitae to lots of employers to save time. Blanket messages offer small results so never fall into this trap – make an effort to modify your curriculum vitae for every single job that you apply for. Research the business and use the job ad to figure out specifically which skills you should point out to them. They will appreciate the obvious effort.
6. Sell the facts
Backing up your successes with numbers makes selling yourself substantially easier. When putting together your work history, don’t just say that you boosted sales – inform them you boosted sales by 40% over a four month period. Be specific.
7. Put together a personal statement
Never just presume an employer will see how your experience links to their role. Instead, incorporate a short personal statement to clarify why you are the perfect person for the job. This should be indicated in your cover letter too.
8. Be honest
Outright lies on your curriculum vitae can land you in a stack of trouble when it comes to employers verifying your background and references. The very last thing you want is to start your new job and then lose your new role for lying. In addition, you may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly struggle to respond to questions on things you claim to know. It’s never worth the stress – don’t do it!
9. Don’t leave gaps unexplained
Leaving noticeable gaps on your CV immediately makes employers doubtful – and they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been out of employment it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it. Did you study for a qualification, do some volunteering or build soft skills like communication or teamwork? If so, make it clear. Don’t assume you will get the chance to clarify at the interview – as the gaps could put them off giving you a chance.
10. Clean up your errors
Recruiters do look for blunders on curriculum vitae and if they find them, it makes you appear to be bad. With many employers having substantial amounts of candidates right now, giving them the excuse to ignore your application due to avoidable slips is definitely not going to assist you to secure an interview. Even if you believe your grammar and spelling is perfect, use a spelling check and ask another person to double check what you have written – the ‘sanity check’.
11. Maintain up-to-the-minute
You should keep your CV up-to-the-minute whether you are looking for a new role or not. Each time something important occurs in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that could be worthwhile.