The Perfect CV: 10 Top Tips on How to Write One

Published: 25/05/2017 and written by Patrick Smith

The Perfect CV: 10 Top Tips on How to Write One
Searching for a new job can be quite time consuming, and may even be a little disheartening at times. But having the perfect CV can make the whole process a little easier. There are a number of opinions around what makes ‘the perfect CV’, and some employers are going to prefer one style to others – but these tips from Mr Lender should help you on your way to creating your own version of the perfect CV, and getting you your ideal job.

perfect CV

Personal details

When it comes to writing your personal information, your name needs to be the most important part. If you’re going to spend plenty of time and effort writing the perfect CV, make sure  a potential employer can at least see your name. Write your name in a slightly larger font compared to the rest of your CV, and make sure it stands out.

Another thing to consider when you’re constructing the perfect CV, is you shouldn’t feel inclined to declare information if you’re not comfortable doing so. This sort of information can include marital status, age and nationality. There are laws and legislations in place (the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, and the Race Relations Act 1976) which prevent an employer from turning you away based on this information. They may sometimes ask for this information if it is relevant to the job, for example they may want to know your marital status if your job requires you to be away from home for long periods of time, or you may be asked for your nationality if you’re applying for a governmental position which requires this information.

Introduction

When writing the perfect CV, start by writing a short paragraph about who you are, and what your main qualities and aspirations are. According to job search site, Monster, the introduction should be no more than 50 words. Another tip to achieving the perfect CV, is to avoid clichés like “I’m hard working” etc. Your potential employer would have seen this sentence over and over again, so they’re going to be looking for something which stands out. You should also link the introduction back to the job description, and explain what qualities you have which make you suitable to the job.

Skills

As mentioned before, simply stating your skills isn’t going to impress your potential employer very much. After you’ve stated your skills, give an explanation as to how this is going to benefit the company. Give them examples of times you have put your skills to use. Instead of describing yourself as a ‘good team player’, give examples of times you’ve shown this skill.

An employer is going to want to see that you have transferable and job related skills. According to Monster, these skills are particularly popular with employers:

  • Good communication skills
  • Good team player
  • Able to use your initiative
  • Good at problem solving
  • Good computer skills
  • Good technical skills

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Employment history

How the employment history should be listed on the perfect CV is up for debate. Some will recommend it to be done one way, while others will offer a different suggestion. One way of recording your employment history is for it to be in reverse chronological order starting with the most recent place of work first. You should include the name of the company, the dates you worked there, and your full job title, as well as your responsibilities and achievements at the company.

Education

Again, how this should be presented in the perfect CV is up for debate, however there are a few factors to consider. The first thing to think about is how relevant is your education in terms of your employment? For example, if you have recently left education and you’re looking for your first big job, you may want to consider placing the education section further up the page as this will then keep the employer reading for longer – if you don’t have much work experience and place the education section further down, an employer is going to switch off as soon as they see your lack of experience.

Tailor your CV

One very important tip to remember when writing the perfect CV, is to tailor each CV to the individual jobs you’re applying for. Take a look at the job descriptions and adjust the introduction according to each one. You may also want to change the layout according to each job too – if one requires you to have a degree then place the education section further up, if another job is more interested in the relevant work experience you have then you should place the employment section higher on the page.

What to avoid

While there are plenty of tips to follow which will help you to write the perfect CV, there are also lots of things to avoid at all costs. The most important one is spelling and grammatical errors. An employer is going to assume that you’re not interested and can’t pay attention to the finer details, if you can’t run a spell check across your work.

You are also going to want to keep your CV short and concise so your potential employer will remain interested. An employer can sometimes have to trawl through hundreds of CVs looking for the ideal candidate, so if your CV is longer than two pages of A4 and full of long sentences, the employer isn’t going to take the time to read it.

The final tip to consider when writing the perfect CV is to have a professional email address. Plenty of people use an email address which was created when they were back in school, and just isn’t suitable for a CV. Having ‘lilmizzbrat’ in your email address is just going to turn off any potential employer. If your email address isn’t very professional, consider creating a new one solely for applying for jobs.

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