How to optimise your neat and simple CV or résumé template
There is no one correct way to write and present your resume but these general tips always need to be followed:
1. It is targeted to the specific job or career area for which you are applying and hones in on the most important skills you possess.
2. It is meticulously and clearly laid out, in the order your recruiter will expect, easy to read and not cramped.
3. It is insightful but concise.
4. It is without grammar, spelling or punctuation flaws. If you mention attention to detail as a skill, be sure your grammar and spelling is perfect.
In addition to these ‘musts’, here are our best tips for customising this template:
1. Keep adjusting
If your curriculum vitae is written the wrong way round on luminous yellow paper and it lands you regular interviews, why consider changing it? The bottom line is that if it is producing results, don’t be too eager to meddle with what works. Conversely, if it’s not getting you results, ask people to look at it and offer their thoughts. Having said this, if you go with the template on this page as your starting point, you shouldn’t get it wrong.
2. Incorporate keywords
If you have uploaded your curriculum vitae to a job site so employers can find you, keywords are especially important. Job titles and job keywords will help search engines pick you out from the pile. To get ideas for keywords, have a search on the Internet and find out which words are commonly used when you put in your target role.
3. Get to the point
Usually a curriculum vitae should be no longer than two pages – and that’s two pages of A4 sheets of paper. Employers spend, typically, only a few seconds browsing through any one curriculum vitae, and a surefire way of landing yourself on the no pile is to give them your entire life history. Keep it punchy, pertinent, and save the detail for your interview.
4. Make it look good
Image is everything in recent times, and that also goes for your curriculum vitae. Take the time to refining how the curriculum vitae looks, as well as the content. Make use of bullet points where it makes sense to do so, and keep sentences short. Use the graphic design trick of leaving lots of white space around your text and between sections to make the page layout easy to read.
5. Personalise it
It’s a pretty common trick. Sending an identical CV to a bunch of employers to save time. Blanket messages deliver small results so don’t fall into this trap – make an effort to change your CV for each job that you go for. Study the company and use the job advert to work out precisely exactly what skills you should show to them. They will appreciate the obvious effort.
6. Sell the details
Backing up your accomplishments with numbers makes selling yourself much simpler. When writing your work history, don’t just mention that you increased sales – tell them you boosted sales by 60 percent over a four month period. Be specific.
7. Write a personal statement
Don’t just believe an employer will know how your experience links to their position. Instead, use a short personal statement to clarify why you are the best person for the role. This should be reflected in your cover letter as well.
8. Never lie
Outright lies on your CV can land you in a stack of trouble when it comes to employers checking out your background and references. The very last thing you want is to begin your new job and then lose your new position for lying. Furthermore, you might get found out during the interview stage when you suddenly struggle to answer questions on what you have claimed to know. It’s not worth the stress – don’t do it!
9. Never leave gaps unexplained
Leaving noticeable gaps on your curriculum vitae instantly makes recruiters doubtful – and they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. If you have been out of employment it can be a concern but just turn it into something positive. Did you study for a course, do some volunteer work or develop soft skills such as communication or teamwork? If so, make it very clear. Never suppose you will get the opportunity to clarify at the interview – as the gaps might deter them from giving you a chance.
10. Clean up your mistakes
Employers do look for mistakes on CV and if they should spot them, it makes you seem bad. With most employers dealing with significant volumes of prospects right now, providing them an excuse to throw out your application as a consequence of avoidable grammar and spelling errors is definitely not going to help you secure an interview. Even if you think your spelling and grammar is perfect, use a spellchecker and ask someone else to double-check what you have prepared – the ‘sanity check’.
11. Always keep it current
You should maintain your curriculum vitae up-to-the-minute whether you are 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.