Effective Methods of Making Your CV Create a Positive Impression


Curriculum Vitae or CV contains relevant information about you that recruiters or HR managers use to decide whether to send you an invitation for interview or not. Your CV plays the role of your “ambassador”, your spokesperson, your promotional material of yourself. As such, it is vital that your CV represent you well.

Is there a formula in writing CV?

There really is no magic guideline in writing a CV that you can follow and assure you of getting a job offer. However, there are certain guidelines that will help make your CV stand out:

1.            Write it for the job you’re applying

Unless you are just job prospecting, you need to tailor-fit your CV to the company’s requirements. This means that you put specific skills, experience, and knowledge that will make you the right fit for the job. However, do not use the exact wordings in the job post in your CV. In a study conducted among employers, 41% said that they reject applications simply because the CV copied a lot of the wordings in the job post.

Use words that are appropriate to the job you are applying to. Using jargons or industry-specific words shows your knowledge of the field you are applying to.

2.            Make it presentable

This doesn’t mean that you decorate your CV with flowers and balloons. Make your CV look professional and easy to read. Employers literally receive hundreds of applications for open job positions and how you present your CV can be a deciding factor whether the recruiter will read it or not.

As most CVs are now sent electronically, use fonts that are monitor-friendly. Use sans-serif fonts like Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, and others. Serif fonts like Times New Roman are hard to read in computer screens.

As much as possible, have all information in just two pages. 22% of surveyed employers say that they reject applications because the CV is more than two pages. To maximize space, set your margin to about 1.27 cm, the font size in the body at 10 points, the sub-headers like Educational Background, Job Experience, etc., to 14 points, and your name at 18 points.

If you are going to send a printed copy of your CV, avoid using decorative paper. This causes 20% of applications to be rejected.

3.            Information-packed, but Concise

Why use a sentence when you can explain it in three words? Being concise will help recruiters read through all the content in your CV while giving them the information they need. Use bullet points as much as possible. Rather explain in sentences the tasks you performed in your previous work, make use of bullet points to enumerate each one using the most appropriate and relevant wordings to deliver the message.

When it comes to information, include only what is relevant to the position you are applying for. You don’t need to run down all your experiences, achievements, and roles if they will not create a positive impact. If you believe that certain information must be included to make you stand above the rest, then place it in a separate sub-header with a brief explanation why you included it and how it is relevant to your application.

4.            Proofread and Edit Your CV

Don’t ever commit the mistake of sending a CV riddled with grammar, punctuation, and typographical errors. The primary reason why employers reject applications is because of this. According to the same survey, error-free CVs are 61% more likely to get a reply from the recruiter and the chance of being interviewed is 26% higher.

Use your software’s spellchecker to catch any spelling mistake. Ask someone to read your CV to make sure that words that are spelled correctly, but are not used properly or out-of-place, are corrected.

Other Important Features to Consider

•              Present your work experience in reverse chronological order as close to half of employers prefer to see the latest information first.

•              Include a cover letter with your CV. Your chance of getting a reply increases by 10 percent. Of course, don’t forget to include a reply address (physical or email address) in your CV.

·                    Never include personal information like your marital status, your parent’s details or passport details. Specific relevant details will be asked if needed, later

•              Speaking of email address, make sure that your email address is professional. The safest bet is to use [email protected] Ridiculous email addresses like [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], are 76% more likely to be ignored.

•              The upper middle portion of the first page of your CV is what is called recruiter’s sweet spot. That’s the area in the CV that employers always set their eyes on, unconsciously. Make sure that the information contained on that spot catches their attention.

•              Do not sound amusing in your CV; recruiters are turned off by this. Also, make sure that you spell the employer’s name and that of the company correctly.

•              Most importantly, be honest about the information you include in your CV. You are allowed to omit or not include information which you believe might jeopardize your chance. However, do not exaggerate, misrepresent, or utterly lie about your experience, education, achievement, and other info in your CV.


(Article Contributed by Rico Enginco)

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