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Your CV will be scanned by the hiring manager just for about 10 seconds, so it’s important to have an effective CV. Explore 20 CV tips that land job interviews.


By Catherine Adenle

OK, usually your CV has about 15 seconds to make an immense first impression on any hiring manager. So, to land job interviews, you need to look at your core resume or CV. Answer truthfully, can it survive the quick scan and the drill of passing other applicants based on its content, structure and presentation? If not, these 20 CV tips are for you.

Frankly, you need to catch the recruiter’s attention in that first 15 seconds, so having an excellent resume or CV is imperative in helping you do this.

Regardless of the job that you are looking for, here are 20 helpful CV tips for creating a recession-proof resume that will land you job interviews:

CV Tip 1 – Always think of your CV as the first stage of the interview process. I know that you wouldn’t go to an interview with the intention of not selling your skills or presenting yourself in an impressive manner, so don’t hold back when selling yourself and your skills on paper or electronically.

CV Tip 2 – Tweak and tailor your CV for each position you apply for! If you want your resume to target a specific job then you will need to tailor it accordingly. When it comes to your resume or CV, one cap should never fit all. So, have a core resume or CV in place but always tweak and tailor it to factor in the skills and the relevant experience required for the specific job that you are applying for.

CV Tip 3 – On top of your CV, under your name and address, add all your contact details, e-mail address, mobile and landline telephone numbers. This is important because most companies will contact you using your e-mail address or via telephone calls instead of sending a letter to your home address.

See 385 Power Words to Make Your Résumé Pop

CV Tip 4 – The requirements of resume or CV formats change over time in any industry. Utilize the web and its free tools to further showcase yourself, attributes and demonstrate your skills. The reason for this is to keep up with the changing requirements of businesses. LinkedIn is great for showcasing CVs and achievements. The Internet has a lot of tools and resources to help you with this.

See 4 Innovative CV/Resume Options to Set Yourself Apart in a Job Search

CV Tip 5 – Keep it simple. Keep the format of your resume simple and sharp. Ensure that it is neat; use one font and one font only, preferably Verdana, Arial or Trebuchet MS etc. Avoid Serif fonts (the ones with fancy strokes).

CV Tip 6 – No gimmicks. As much as we like to make our CV stand out, hiring managers tend to dislike gimmicks when reading CVs. No portraits or any pictures, unless a prospective employer implicitly asks for them.

CV Tip 7– No age or religion. You don’t have to include your age; an employer can easily work out your age range by looking at when you were educated and left school, college and university. You don’t have to add your religion or political affiliations either.

See Free CV or Resume Example Templates

CV Tip 8 – Plan to work overseas? If you are applying for a position out of your country, remember to state whether you have visas to work in that particular country and are free to travel.

CV Tip 9 – Keywords or power words. Include keywords or power words that are congruent with your industry or the job description. Research the keywords for your industry, most large companies’ have scanning software to review CVs to quickly pinpoint the most ideal candidates before a hiring manager even looks at it.

CV Tip 10 – Format your content. Your CV should be on A4 with a white background. If you are posting your CV rather than emailing it, try to use good quality paper. Use a plain font like Arial, Trebuchet MS, or Times Roman. Use headings to make your resume or CV easy to read. Then, use bullet points and lists.

See 6 Critical Components of a Winning Resume

CV Tip 11 – Your skills and achievements. Provide a list of relevant skills that are needed for the role that you are applying for and ensure that your featured achievements demonstrate the skills.

CV Tip 12 –Tasks and responsibilities. Under each past job, list past responsibilities and tasks undertaken and the achievements that highlight your capabilities.

CV Tip 13 – Education or relevant training. Include relevant education with any on the job training attended, year, qualifications or any professional bodies that you belong to.

CV Tip 14 – References. Reference to referees should be included at the end of your CV, include a statement, “Referees will willingly provide references upon request”. However, be sure to touch base with your referees to ensure that they may be contacted.

CV Tip 15 – Length. 2 pages max unless you are applying to be an architect or a medical doctor. In most cases, you do not typically want 3 pages unless there is something so spectacular about your work history, even then a succinct explanation should suffice. If it has to be longer, be sure to compartmentalize the areas so the person reading knows where to look for what information.

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CV Tip 16 – Personalisation. Be sure to stand out because of the quality of your resume or CV. Be the candidate who truly wants that position and not just another regular person looking for another job. In a sea of horses, it’s better to be a Unicorn. Use effective words from their ads, target and gear yourself into the kind of person they are seeking. Bring out your achiever personality and really make the resume showcase what you can deliver.

CV Tip 17 – No colours. Include no colours, flowery fonts, coloured background and designs. No colour unless you are applying to be a graphic artist or a designer in which case, your CV or resume can demonstrate your artistry.

CV Tip 18 – Spell check. All I will say is spell check, spell check and spell check again! Get a second person to take a second look for you before sending it out, preferably, get an experienced mentor of yours to check it for you.

CV Tip 19 – Timing. If applications and resumes are due in on a Wednesday, don’t wait until Tuesday to get your resume written. Be prepared ahead of time so that you are an early submission candidate. Have a current up to date ‘core’ resume ready to go at all times.

CV Tip 20 – Save your CV in your name. Once you have finished updating your resume, ensure that you save it using your name and add the job reference number if applicable as in ‘JohnSmithCV34512.doc’ before submission.

Now that you have read this post, do you have any other CV tips that can land job interviews? Please feel free to share more important CV and resume tips that will land job interviews with us.

Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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