Posted by Kevin Jarvis on 01 April 2015
If you’re an active job seeker, an effective CV is your most powerful tool. Modern-day recruiters might scour the web for background information on a potential candidate but a resume that offers a succinct snapshot of your skills, expertise and achievements still represents your best shot at securing the job of your dreams. Luckily, creating a simple resume template is not as challenging as you might think.
Here are four tips designed to write a CV that will take your career to new heights.
1. Start with an executive summary
When it comes to selling yourself on paper, it’s tempting to ramble about your achievements. But if you’re planning to write a resume that makes a bold impact on your recruiter, it’s time to drop vague statements about your professional intentions. Starting the document with an executive summary that outlines your strengths, interests and the ways that you can deliver value to a potential employer can pique a hiring manager’s interest and invite them to read on. But remember that brevity is the golden rule of CV writing – limit this section to three to five sentences.
2. Format your CV in reverse chronological order
Although it makes sense to create a resume template that leads with your qualifications and follows with a potted history of every job you’ve had since high school, this practice is likely to see your CV go unread. Recruiters are often inundated with resumes from hundreds of applicants and don’t have time to sort through irrelevant information. Formatting your CV in reverse chronological order invites your prospective boss to absorb the information that matters the most, first. This gives them a sharper insight into your professional trajectory and can empower smarter recruitment decisions.
3. Swap dense blocks of text for snappy bullet points
If you’re in the process of putting together a CV template, consider using bullet points that describe your achievements rather than chunks of text. Listing three ways that you conceived, developed or contributed to projects or customer relationships during different positions you’ve held can paint a compelling picture of the ways you’ve excelled in a role. Using bullet points rather than paragraphs isn’t just about conveying your professional strengths and attributes while conserving space. They can also help you shape the discussion if you happen to land an interview.
4. Limit the document to four A4 pages
When you’re creating a CV template, it’s essential to be concise. This means making every effort to tailor your resume to the role’s requirements, and leaving out the career decisions and sideways moves that don’t relate to the job in question. It’s also important to limit the document to four pieces of A4 paper rather than devoting pages to every position you’ve held. If you focus on your most powerful selling points, you’re likely to make a strong impression. Simplicity, clarity and professionalism are paramount when it comes to creating a CV template that works.
Need more resume tips? Read the 7 reasons why no one will read your resume.