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Things to remember when writing a CV

Things to remember when writing a CV

Although application forms may vary in appearance, the way in which information is presented conforms to a common format and should always be followed.

As a general rule, if you are listing information, you should always give the most important information first. CVs must not have any mistakes. Obvious spelling mistakes instantly affect the assessment of a candidate.

Stick to certain rules

Writing a good CV takes time and practice and it's not as simple as many people believe. When writing your CV, keep a helpful list of rules that you should apply throughout the CV. Any changes in the appearance, font or descriptions should be carefully considered or avoided as they are likely to annoy and distract the recruiter.

  • Remember to write in a prescribed form and never use the first person (for example: I did, I graduated).
  • All start-and-stop dates for a particular stage of your career or education should be arranged in the same way (for example: chronological order). This will keep things clear and transparent to the reader.
  • Remember, a CV is a document in which we present many items in a brief and understandable format. Try to give as much information as possible in bullet-points, with no further description. And, use the same format throughout when listing information.

Common mistakes

Recruiters are experienced CV readers. Small mistakes jump out at them and will affect their choice of candidates for a particular position. Also, employers have their own application processing systems in place. Hence, never staple your CV and cover letter together. Your CV and cover letter are separate parts of the application process.

Before creating your CV, find out as much as possible about the position and work place you are applying for. Then, tailor your CV to reflect the needs of the employer. An applicant whose resume does not match the job requirements will not get a job interview.

CV content, form and appearance are important so if you're going to add a personal photo, be sure it is professional and of good quality. Prepare a few versions of your personal photo that you can use on your CV and on job portals.

Don't procrastinate writing your CV. The sooner you start the better. In addition to researching the job position and employer, you have to decide on the most appropriate layout and overall appearance of your CV even before you start writing. Recruiters are looking for key information. Keep things relevant to the job description and be consistent.