Tips for creating a winning CV

Friday September 11, 2020

 Tip 1 – Make sure your CV clearly, concisely and accurately conveys your skills and experience.

Quite simply, your resume is a summary of your abilities, education, experience, and skills. Its main task is to convince prospective employers to contact you. A CV has one purpose: to get your foot in the door so you can wow potential employers at the job interview.

 Tip 2 – Do not ‘grab interest’ by including pics, logos, graphs or timelines – these merely distract.  Only include relevant information.

Employers look through mountains of applications and can typically spend only a few minutes reviewing a resume.  Your CV, therefore, must create a good first impression. In order to grab the interest of a potential employer and stand out from the rest of the applications, your CV must quickly convey that you are capable and competent enough to be worth interviewing.

 Tip 3 – Tailor your CV for each role – that extra time and detail will pay off!

When preparing your CV for a certain role, it is important to ask yourself: What aspects of my education, experience, or skills will be most attractive to this employer?

Your CV should immediately highlight your relevant skills, knowledge and specific coursework, or areas of specialty that you feel would be of interest. A summary of your areas of experience and background is usually helpful to do this. Tailor your CV, as much as possible, to the role you are applying for.

 Tip 4 – Do not make your CV too long. Use bullet points to reduce long paragraphs.

Do not write a long essay.  However, US-style one page CVs might be too short for most Commonwealth countries.  Ideally, your CV should not be more than 3-4 pages long. Use bullet points to break up long paragraphs of information.

 Tip 5 – Check that you have included all relevant dates in your CV.

Check that all events are properly dated, especially your qualification dates and those of your current and previous employment. Do not forget to clearly state your place and date of admission.

Any gaps (when you took that sabbatical to try your hand at something else?) in the dates should be adequately explained.