A CV should be well written and formatted. The document should include essential information about your education and professional experience. The rules for writing resumes vary from country to country. Before sending a CV to a potential employer, make sure to check the relevant requirements.
A CV needs adaptations for each job. This does not mean that you need to re-write a CV every time. It is enough to have a basic template and edit it in accordance with the features of a particular vacancy.
Remember that those who will read a CV usually do not have time to look for important information. Therefore, the description (brief and understandable) of the most important technical skills should be visible.
Get a separate list document and describe all your achievements related to professional experience and education. This document will help to keep a CV relevant. Put your successes, goals achieved, awards/merits, completed projects, positive feedback from colleagues and managers to this list. Downloading a resume file should not make problems.
Format and length
The ideal CV length does not exceed one page. You can exceed this limit if you have many years of experience or have studied a lot (make sure that this experience and this education will be useful in the future position). If your CV is longer than one page, then the most critical information should be on the first page. Having placed everything on one page, you make it clear that you can filter out unnecessary details and select the most valuable information.
To reduce a resume length just remove recommendations from previous places of work or study. If the employer needs recommendations, she/he will ask you to provide them. Another way is to put a link to your professional LinkedIn profile near your name.
Recruitment managers usually spend about 20 seconds on one CV. Instead of tedious paragraphs, use bullet points with short sections. There is a ‘golden zone’ in a resume that the recruiters pay the most attention to. This is the top third of the page. In this area, describe what makes you feel most proud of.
Structure of the document
The contents of the CV are of utmost importance, but style and design also play an important role, albeit a secondary one. The first impression that your CV makes on a manager who needs an employee will be primarily determined by the overall visual appeal of the document.
Clearly state your employment goals
The more specific the wording, the higher the probability of getting a job.
If you do not know how to describe your work experience or internship, use the STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result) rule. No need to specify the job responsibilities in detail. Here try to emphasize your accomplishments.
The document should contain the following:
- First and last name;
- Phone number;
- Email Address;
- LinkedIn Profile Link;
- Twitter link, own website or professional blog.
Group and place this information as compactly as possible. The email address must have a professional look. Check your LinkedIn and email daily, so you don’t miss requests from potential employers.
Work experience: how to describe it correctly
Describe your experience, including responsibilities and achievements, avoiding unnecessary words. Use a reverse chronological order.
Whenever possible, support words with measurable indicators. The numbers, positions in the ranking or time intervals look more convincing in comparison with the general description.
If you do not have any work experience, then in this section, describe the knowledge gained during the internship, or the experience of participating in competitions. Choose the formulations as if you are describing job responsibilities while focusing on the technical and other skills applied to achieve your goals.
Education: what to mention
The amount of information in this section depends on professional experience. The more experience you have, the less information about your school you need to include.
A standard set of information about education includes:
- Name of an educational institution and year of graduation.
If you are still studying, provide your GPA (grade point average) score and expected graduation date.
Also describe the achievements, technical skills, indicate the level of language proficiency, list the certificates. Rank everything in descending order of importance. If you have managed something or volunteered outside of the academic environment, make sure to mention this.
Language, tone, and style
In general, keep the language of a CV simple and clear without unnecessary words. Stay honest and give only real facts about yourself. Remember your personal brand. What impression do you want to make? Use the adjectives that describe you best.
As a rule, a resume is compiled in the language in which the job description was written. If you have an English version of the CV, let us know in the heading of the resume that you can provide the Spanish translation if necessary. For a local employer, a resume in other languages may not be required. If you apply for a vacancy in an international company, we strongly recommend that you prepare and keep on hand the English version of the CV.
The tone of the text in the CV should sound professional. Throughout the document, use the same time (past or present).
Add keywords that apply in your field in general and in the job description in particular. In many companies, CVs are automatically filtered: the managers who hire employees only get those CVs that have the right keywords. The time taken to select keywords will pay off since a resume with keywords will attract the attention of the recruiter.
Keep the wording concise and straightforward. Try to express your thoughts as clearly as possible. Read your CV out loud and rephrase sentences that sound bad.
When writing a CV in a foreign language, before submitting, verify it by a native speaker. Some countries require a bilingual CV. Formatting CVs in both languages should be the same. This will facilitate the search for the same information in different versions of a resume.
Verification and Editing
When editing a resume, make sure to follow the five necessary steps to make sure that the final document can be sent to an employer:
- Rate the big picture. In general, does the CV look meaningful? Have you included all the information?
- Double-check the lists and wordings. Maybe there exists a better way to express your ideas?
- Check the facts. Make sure all data is correct.
- Recheck the CV. Consistently read the entire text for typos, spelling, and grammar errors.
- Rate the overall visual appeal. Does the page look good? If not, try adding design elements that will enhance the look of your CV.
Professional editors know that most documents can continue to be edited for a very long time, and one can always find something to improve. Editing is a crucial and absolutely necessary stage of composing a resume.