If painstakingly crafting your CV might seem cumbersome, ensuring that it is an accurate yet complimentary depiction of your professional self, then take solace in the fact that you are in good company. Back in 1482, before creating some of the most famous and revered artwork in the world, Leonardo da Vinci was writing to the Duke of Milan listing his achievements in a bid to be considered for future opportunities regarding the design of ‘instruments of war’. Da Vinci’s CV is quite something, he shows himself to be a problem solver, ‘Where the operation of bombardment might fail, I would contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other machines of marvelous [sic] efficacy and not in common use…’ which is a skill that employers value, as most will attest.
And while our modern CVs might be slightly less heavy on the mention of catapults, there is still a need to present one’s skill set and achievements. Your CV is the initial opportunity to represent yourself and first impressions matter.
Below are a few basic tips to aid the construction of a good CV:
CVs should ideally be no longer than two pages, three at the absolute most. A CV that runs for four or five pages suggests that the candidate is unable to summarise or extract relevant information.
Failure to proofread can result in a CV that is littered with grammatical and spelling mistakes, as well as sentences that are poorly constructed, which shows a lack of care and attention to detail. Don’t rely on spellcheck either, it’s handy to have as a backup but it is not without its faults. Remember to check for Americanisation of spelling too; while we may have lost control of America in 1776, they will have prise the use of ‘s’ over ‘z’ from our tea infused typing.
Ensure consistency throughout. For example, if shortening month names when recording dates of employment make sure that this is done throughout. Do not switch intermittently between ‘Sept’ and ‘September’.
The rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Ensure a sensible font, resisting the temptation to jazz it up with ‘Jokerman’ or add some spice with ‘Snap ITC’, and please don’t attempt pizzazz with ‘Playbill’. If, however, you are a graphic designer or something similarly creative, then it would make sense that your CV is a reflection of that (although there is still no excuse for Jokerman).
If you have experience of using particular software then do include it on your CV. It seems obvious, yet recruiters often search on keywords and omission of just a few words can turn your CV from a yes into a no. Additionally, if you are a professional with 12 years’ experience, then the summer job you had when you were 15 is unlikely to be relevant.
While the above points are by no means exhaustive, following them will ensure your CV is constructed in a way that accurately reflects your professionalism. If you are looking for a new challenge, please submit your CV via our website. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org