CV Dos and DonÂ’ts
It takes time to write a CV, addressing the issues and organizing the information so that you sell yourself. The biggest error most people make is throwing away a great chance by rushing a mediocre CV. Regard your CV as work in progress and give it a polish every couple of months. You never know when you will be asked for it.
As a professional CV writer I have known people return to the same agencies that had previously refused them, this time with a great application that gets them noticed. The difference between managing your career and just letting it happen can be more than the cost of your home over the course of a lifetime. You need to take this task seriously right from the start.
You do not need to be headlining the trivial details of your life like your address and what primary school you went to. You do not need to tell someone that the document is a CV.
For each occupation and each level of each occupation and for changes of career and country there are key things you need to be saying that recruiters want to hear. If you already know enough then spend some time listing these key things before you ever start writing your application. If you need more information, then start collecting it, start finding out what buzzwords, concepts and competencies that will carry conviction.
A boring format or copied job definition makes your resume dull to recruiters who have to read lots of applications every day. You need to reach these people where they get interested. The story of your career needs to build up expectations that you are worth meeting. You need to tell them the context in which your achievements have taken place and let them know what value you offer for the future. Enter the page content here.
Do not pepper your CV with titles like PROFILE, CAREER OBJECTIVE and SKILLS like a template. You can have an introduction to your CV but there's no need to label it. All you really need is a few sensible headings such as PROFESSIONAL, CAREER and PERSONAL - under which you can group your skills/qualifications, narrative of achievements and necessary details.
Bulleted paragraphs are a great way to save space and add impact but they need to be congruent. They need to relate to the one before and the one after in an intelligent way.
The medium is in the message. If they have reached the third paragraph of your letter and glanced at your CV, you have already shown them that you can communicate. There is no need to tell them you are a GOOD COMMUNICATOR, a SELF-STARTER or a GREAT TEAM PLAYER in so many words. It needs to be implicit in your account of yourself, not stuffed under their nose as a grandiose claim.
People cannot help but be impressed by talented design and clever typesetting. Your choice of fonts and styles, however, is somewhat limited by the restrictions of email and online CV Builders. If you want to make a subtle and sophisticated impression you need to use simple fonts and give bold and cursive ones a miss.
Your letter needs to sing, summarise, promise, capture the spirit of what's best about you. Safe, boring, over-length, repetitive letters that regurgitate your CV or try to match every single minor point in the job definition will have one damaging effect on the reader - they will think you are not very bright.
All the best!