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How To Make Your CV Attractive And Stand Out
When you are preparing a CV these are the 7 most important inclusions you should have in mind:
1. Professional Summary
2. Areas of Expertise
3. Work Experience (in reverse chronological order)
4. Education and Training
5. Personal Skills/Languages (and proficiency level)
6. Digital Competence
7. Additional Information (including publications, presentations, projects, conferences, seminars, honors and awards, memberships, references, citations)
1. Professional Summary:
This is your CV's "hook" and should engage the reader and encourage them to keep reading your CV while at the same time providing them a snapshot of what you have to offer them. The professional summary is 4-6 lines and provides an overview of your work experience, two or three major skill sets, and valuable personality traits or soft skills. An objective statement (within the professional summary) is useful for entry-level positions, career changers, or jobseekers looking to transition to a higher position. Using fragmented sentences is acceptable in CV/resume writing.
2. Areas of Expertise:
These should include your organizational, managerial and job-related skill. Examples include: "Good communication skills gained through my experience as sales manager;" "Good command of quality control processes (currently responsible for quality audit);" or "Leadership (currently responsible for a team of 10 people)"
3. Work Experience:
Start with your most current or recent position and go backward chronologically. Include your Job Title, Employer, Employer's location, dates of employment, and sector for each position. Typically, positions more than 10 years old will not be included, or if they are included, omit dates of employment and details of the position and simply include them in a bullet-point list.
Highlight positions of increasing responsibility within an organization. Use present tense for current employment and past tense for past positions. List experience using bullet points. This makes it easier for your potential employer to gain an understanding of your abilities. Each position should contain a mix of duties, specific achievements, contributions, and accomplishments.
Use abbreviations only if they are commonly known. Otherwise, write out what the abbreviation means with the abbreviation itself in parenthesis. Include quantifiable metrics wherever possible, and include specifics on projects, process improvements, leadership, management, etc. If needed, create a separate Achievements/Career Highlights Section and place it before Work Experience.
Avoid using the same words over and over. Manage, direct, oversee, supervise, and command can be used interchangeably while helping to diversify your strengths. Break out your thesaurus and see what you can come up with! Start each bullet point with a strong action word.
4. Education and Training:
Start with the most recent degree or course of study completed. If you are currently pursuing a degree, certification, qualification, or diploma, write "Current" or "Anticipated graduation, 20XX" Exclude your GPA unless you are a recent graduate. Feel free to list honors, magna cum laude, summa cum laude, etc. It is acceptable to leave off date of graduation, but be consistent with all degrees.
Include relevant work experiences, internships, campus organizations, or coursework. Certifications can be included in the education section or be put in a separate "Certification" section if you have several. Don't include high school unless it is your only education. If you took classes in a particular subject but did not obtain a degree, list coursework, school name and location.
5. Personal Skills:
This section should include either formal or self-assessments such as languages spoken and your level of proficiency in terms of reading, writing, and speaking.
6. Digital Competence:
This is a self-assessment of your computer skills and proficiencies (if applicable).
7. Additional Information:
This section (if included) will contain information on your relevant publications, presentations, projects, conferences, seminars, honors and awards, memberships, references, and citations.