Whether this is the first curriculum vitae you are writing or if you have crafted countless ones in the past, there is always room for improvement. Even a couple minor changes can really enhance the document and greatly increase your chances of being asked for an interview. If you already have a draft of your CV ready to go, read it over again. However, this time, read it over with the following CV tips in the back of your head.
You want your CV to read effortlessly and be as concise as possible. This can be accomplished by taking out any superfluous information. For example, if you were involved with intramural sports in college, then you would not have to put the dates for that information. It just gets in the way of more useful material. Additionally, try to eliminate articles such as “the,” “a” or “an” whenever possible.
A bunch of large paragraphs throughout your CV can be daunting just by their appearance. With paragraphs, you are also more likely to throw in longer, more excessive information. Many of the CV tips, as you will see, involve tightening things down whenever possible. You can convey the same material in a more organized manner by using bulleted lists, which will allow the hiring manager to read through the pages more efficiently.
If you have been a working professional for a while, then you may have a lot of previous jobs to go through. There is no reason to include anything from over a decade ago, especially if it is no longer relevant to the industry you are in now. There is no reason to say you worked a customer service position in college if you have been working in the medical field for years.
Most CVs should be about two pages in length. You can get away with three pages, but generally you do not want anything more than that. If you still have essential information that needs to be conveyed, you can tweak the formatting, but make sure to keep changes minimal. For example, if your CV is currently written in 12-point font, you could go down to 11-point font. However, do not go any lower than 11.
If you are trying to figure out what information to cut from an excessively long CV, try to focus on what tasks you want to do going forward. As an example, you may have answered phones and filed documents in your last position. In the event you have no intention to continue doing those things at your next job, there would be no reason to include them. Focus on skills this new position requires in candidates and what responsibilities the job entails.
A curriculum vitae is an opportunity to show off your expansive, capacious vocabulary. You should avoid repeating the same words when possible. Additionally, it is wise to use larger verbs in lieu of simpler ones. Instead of saying you “worked” with the IT department, you can say you “collaborated” with the department.
It is a good idea to have someone read your CV who is not familiar with the field. This way you get critiques on whether a layman can follow your document. Unless you know for a fact that the hiring manager is as well-versed in industry jargon as you are, keep it to a minimum or explain what the terminology means. Furthermore, avoid acronyms people may not be familiar with. There is no need to explain what FBI stands for, but if you belonged to a college organization that used an acronym, then spell it out.
Do not send your document to employers without implementing these CV tips first. It is highly likely you will feel more confident about the overall quality of your CV after rewriting it.