How to personalise your basic résumé template
There is no single “correct” way to write and finalise your resume but these basic tips always need to be followed:
1. It is targeted on the exact role or career area for which you are applying and brings out the most important skills you have.
2. It is meticulously and clearly laid out, in the order your recruiter will expect, legible and not crowded.
3. It is thorough but concise.
4. It is without spelling and grammar flaws. If you note attention to detail as a skill, be sure your grammar and spelling is excellent.
In addition to these ‘musts’, here are our best tips for customising this template:
1. Keep evolving
If your curriculum vitae is put together the wrong way round on vibrant yellow paper and it gets you regular interviews, why consider changing it? At the end of the day if it is generating results, don’t be too quick to meddle with a winning formula. On the flip side, if it’s not working, ask people you know to look at it and offer their thoughts. That said, if you use the template above as a starting point, you shouldn’t go far wrong.
2. Use relevant keywords
If you’ve uploaded your curriculum vitae to a job website so recruiters can find you, keywords are especially important. Job titles plus job keywords will help a search engine pick you out from the pile. To find ideas for keywords, have a search on the web and find out what words are frequently mentioned when you put in your job title.
3. Get to the point
Generally a CV ought to be no more than two pages – and by that we mean a couple of pages of A4 sized sheets of paper. Employers take, typically, only eight seconds browsing through any one curriculum vitae, and a reliable way of landing yourself on the rejected pile is to send them your entire life story. Keep it punchy, concise, and reserve the detail for the interview.
4. Make it look good
Image is everything these days, and it’s just as true for your curriculum vitae. Take the time to improving how the curriculum vitae looks, as well as your content. Make use of bullet points to keep things well organised, and keep sentences short. Make use of the graphic design trick of allowing plenty of white space around your text and between sections to make the CV easy to read.
5. Personalise it
We’ve all done it. Posting or emailing the same curriculum vitae to lots of employers to save time. Across-the-board messages deliver small results so don’t fall into this trap – make time to modify your CV for every job that you go for. Research the company and use the job advert to figure out exactly exactly what skills you should mention to them. They will appreciate the patent effort.
6. Sell the facts
Supporting your positive results with numbers makes selling yourself significantly simpler. When crafting your work history, don’t just say that you increased sales – inform them you boosted sales by 60% over a seven month period. Be specific.
7. Include your objectives
Never just think an recruiter will know how your experience relates to their job. Instead, use a short personal statement to make clear why you are the perfect person for the position. This should be mirrored in your cover letter too.
8. Don’t lie
Outright lies on your CV can get you in a stack of trouble when it comes to employers checking out your background and references. The very last thing you need is to begin work and then lose your new position for not being totally honest. Furthermore, you might get caught out at the interview when you all of a sudden struggle to answer questions on what you have claimed to know. It’s not worth the stress – don’t do it!
9. Don’t leave gaps without an explanation
Leaving noticeable gaps on your CV immediately makes recruiters wary – and they will not give you the benefit of the doubt. If you have been out of work it can be a concern but just put a positive spin on it. Did you study for a qualification, do some volunteering or build up soft skills eg communication or teamwork? If so, make it very clear. Don’t suppose you’ll get the chance to explain at the interview – as the gaps might deter them from giving you a chance.
10. Correct your mistakes
Employers do scour for mistakes on curriculum vitae and if they spot them, it makes you appear to be bad. With many recruiters having to deal with significant quantities of prospects right now, giving them the excuse to dismiss your application due to avoidable grammar and spelling errors is not going to assist you to land an interview. Even if you really feel your spelling and grammar is excellent, make use of a spelling check and ask someone else to double-check what you’ve prepared – the ‘sanity check’.
11. Keep fresh
You should maintain your CV up-to-date whether you’re looking for a job or not. Each time something important happens in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that may be significant.