There is no sure way to write a professional CV that captures all recruiters’ attention. However, with the tough competition in the job market, a professional CV is what you might just need to stand out. The ultimate rule for writing a CV that stands out, is to ensure that you showcase your unique selling point – stand out.
So let’s get started, what is a CV?
A Curriculum vitae, popularly known as a CV is a professional document that gives a summary of your work history, education and skills. Your CV should sell you, as a candidate, to hiring employers. There are 2 types of CVs, the skills-based CV and experience focused type. A skills-based CV, also referred to as functional CV, highlights qualifications and skills, as compared to experience. An experienced focused CV, on the other hand, prioritizes work expertise and achievements.
How to write a Professional CV
This section contains your official names, email address and phone number. Make sure the number provided is active and belongs to you. A recruiter will want to communicate to someone who is available when reached out to. Your age, areas of residence and marital status are not necessary when writing a professional CV. Keep it clean.
Pro Tip: Never use an email that does not sound professional. A firstname.lastname@example.org is not something that should appear on your CV. Create a new Gmail account if you have to.
Give a brief summary of your professional history. This should include an introduction of your key skills and qualifications, as well as specific keywords that are relevant in your work industry. Avoid generic descriptions like ‘goal-oriented’ or ‘hardworking individual’. An example would be this:
Strategic and highly efficient Accounting Professional with an academic background in finance and accounts management. I have over 6 years of extensive expertise in financial analysis, budget control, business accounting, risk assessment as well as staff capacity building. I can define strategic goals, build relationships and provide high-level solutions gained from my working experience as shown.
List your most recent role first, stating your duties and responsibilities. Focus on the most important roles that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Not all duties should be listed in the CV. Do not forget to include achievements, especially for the most recent roles that showcase your strengths.
Pro Tip: An employer will likely pick your CV if the duties listed correspond to the position they are hiring for. Always tweak your CV to capture the job requirements.
It is easy to write a professional CV when you understand the format that works best for you. For an experience-based CV, your education is as important as the role you are interviewing for. A recent graduate will list his/her primary and secondary school certifications, while a qualified professional lists tertiary education. An employer will not look at what you did in your primary school if you have 3 years of experience. Focus on the most recent and relevant education qualifications.
Pro Tip: A captain role in your high school is not necessary if you are currently leading a team at work. Stay updated and relevant. If you have attended any trainings workshops, this is the section to include them in. Add any professional certifications you have attained too.
Any referee that is listed on the CV should be aware that their names are up for recommendations. Most referees have no idea that someone listed them, until a prospective employer calls and they have to mentally prepare in the spur of the moment. Ensure that the referees listed are relevant to your line of work, and years of expertise. Your lecturer can not be a referee when you have 2 years of work experience.
In conclusion, always ensure that your CV is as short and as precise as possible. Recruiters, according to BrighterMonday survey reports, take only 7 seconds to skim through your CV. Make the seconds count. With the tips above, we hope you get to write your professional CV better, and land that interview you always wanted. Another sure of way of getting your CV stand out is reaching out to professional CV writing services at BrighterMonday!