How to tailor your Garamond CV or résumé template
There is no single “right” way to create and present a résumé but these basic tips always need to be followed:
1. It is targeted for the exact role or career area you are aiming for and showcases the most significant skills you have.
2. It is carefully and clearly set out, in the order your recruiter will expect, legible and not crowded.
3. It is detailed but concise.
4. It is free from grammar and spelling mistakes. If you mention attention to detail as a skill, be sure your spelling and grammar is awesome.
As well as to these ‘musts’, these are our top strategies for personalising this template:
1. Keep evolving
If your CV is written backwards on vibrant green paper and it gets you regular interviews, why think about changing it? The bottom line is that if it’s getting results, don’t be too eager to meddle with what works. By contrast, if it’s not getting you results, ask people to look it over and suggest changes. That said, if you go with the template on this page as a starting point, you shouldn’t get it wrong.
2. Use relevant keywords
If you have uploaded your curriculum vitae to a job web site so employers can find you, keywords are very important. Job titles plus job keywords will help search engines lift your CV to the top. To find ideas for keywords, have a search on the web and find out which words are commonly used when you input your target role.
3. Keep it real!
Generally a curriculum vitae will be no longer than two pages – and that’s a couple of pages of A4 sized sheets. Employers take, typically, just a few seconds looking at each CV, and a guaranteed way of landing your application on the no pile is to send them your whole life history. Maintain it punchy, to the point, and save the detail for the interview.
4. Jazz it up
Image is everything in recent times, and it’s just as true for your curriculum vitae. Take the time to refining how the CV looks, as well as the content. Make use of bullet points to keep things well organised, and keep sentences punchy. Make use of the graphic design trick of allowing enough of white space surrounding your text and in between categories to make the CV easy to digest.
5. Customise it
It’s a pretty common trick. Sending the same curriculum vitae to a bunch of employers to save time. Blanket messages give limited results so never fall into this trap – put in the time to modify your CV for each and every role that you send an application for. Study the organisation and use the job ad to figure out exactly just what skills you should highlight to them. They will welcome the obvious effort.
6. Sell your maths
Supporting your positive results with numbers makes selling yourself much easier. When crafting your work history, don’t just mention that you boosted sales – inform them you increased sales by 60 percent over a seven month period. Be precise.
7. Write an objective
Never just presume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, incorporate a brief personal statement to make clear why you’re the perfect person for the role. This should be mirrored in your cover letter as well.
8. Never lie
Blatant lies on your curriculum vitae can get you in a ton of trouble when it comes to employers checking your references and background. The last thing you need is to begin your new job and then lose your new role for lying. Also, you might get caught out during the interview stage when you suddenly struggle to respond to questions on what you have claimed to know. It’s never worth the hassle – don’t do it!
9. Never leave gaps unexplained
Leaving noticeable gaps on your CV immediately makes recruiters wary – and they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been out of the job market it can be a concern but just put a positive spin on it. Did you study for a course, do some volunteering or develop soft skills eg communication or teamwork? In this case, make it very clear. Never suppose you’ll get the opportunity to clarify at the interview – as the gaps may deter them from giving you a chance.
10. Correct your mistakes
Employers do scour for errors on curriculum vitae and if they find them, it makes you seem bad. With most recruiters experiencing huge amounts of candidates right now, providing them with an excuse to ignore your application as a consequence of avoidable slips is not going to enable you to land an interview. Even if you think your spelling and grammar is perfect, use a spelling check and ask someone else to double-check what you’ve written – the ‘sanity check’.
11. Keep up-to-the-minute
You should keep your CV up to date whether you’re looking for a job or not. Every time something significant happens in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that may be significant.