A curriculum vitae is an important element prior to an upcoming job interview. It and the personal letter form a set of documents that have to persuade your future employer - firstly to invite you for an interview, and secondly to select you for a particular job. Below you will find seven tips for CV´s that are useful for drafting a clear and business-like document.
1. Make sure you haven´t left any time gaps.
A CV is composed - in the case of the standard model - of a number of different parts, such as personal details, education, work experiences and skills. Under the heading “work experience” you indicate what work experience you’ve already acquired. In so doing, it is useful to mention precisely what your position was. Here again, stick to the chronological sequence and make sure that you have a justification for any periods of time without either an employer or educational activity. In such cases, chances are good that a potential new employer will ask you about precisely those periods...
2. Use a clear writing style
It’s important to always use a clear writing style. By this we naturally mean that there cannot be any spelling, grammatical or stylistic errors, but also that what has to be there is there. Write actively, and avoid words like ´can´ and ´will´. Don´t use jargon, unless you´ll be exercising a profession where you are sure that the employer is familiar with these concepts.
3. Stick to a number of parts and choose a concept
CV´s exist in several versions. The most common is the timeline type, where work and traineeship experiences and education are presented chronologically. A functional CV has a different layout: here the document is structured on the basis of your qualities. In other cases a creative CV might be the best way to present yourself: here you develop an original layout and structure it all on your own. What type is best for you depends entirely on your goals and the profession you are applying for.
4. A short CV is better than a long one
Tip for CV´s: Do you have a CV that is longer than two A4 pages? Then we recommend that you shorten it, because two A4 pages is too much for many employers: in that case there´s a real chance that it won´t be read at all.
5. Be sure to sell yourself
CV´s have been familiar documents in the world of job interviews for many years now. This document contains information about your person that is significant for a potential future employer. It is therefore important that you mention the most valuable facts about yourself on a CV. You are selling yourself by highlighting your strong points and by subtly allowing any shortcomings to recede into the background.
6. Stick to the facts
Stick to the facts and don’t allow any inaccuracies to creep into the CV. It may be highly tempting to amplify a certain position, but lies are often quickly spotted.
7. Don´t add a personal touch
A CV is intended to list data on your prior experiences and education. That also means that there’s no room for any personal notes. Save all that for the cover letter, which is the ideal place for lending a personal touch.
Thus endeth the seven tips for CV´s. Use them to your advantage on your personal curriculum vitae!
Learn from Robert Half’s expert recruiters so you can build a talented team of employees or advance your career. Operating in over 300 locations worldwide, with 12 recruitment offices in Belgium and Luxembourg, including our recruitment agency in Nivelles, Robert Half can provide you with assistance including leadership recruitment, where and when you need it.