6 Tips To Create A Great CV
Building a great CV is not an easy task. We all went through hard times asking ourselves:
- What should I put in my CV?
- How should I present my skills and expertise?
- How many pages should my CV have?
- What really matters?
To begin, it’s important to understand that you’ll probably never see a one-type of CV that can be used by everyone, and that is normal. A CV should be your personality shine. So don’t worry if you don’t connect to your friends CVs and want to do something different.
Throughout my career and expertise in the HR area, I’ve seen hundreds of CV. Some were really good, some others not.
Thus, I wanted to share with you few tips I recommend to keep in mind when building your CV.
1. The structure – What information should I put in my CV?
All CVs, as different as they can be, have a similar structure. However, I would suggest differentiating the structure whether you’re a young graduate or an experienced worker. In the first scenario, recruiters will pay more attention to your education and other activities, and less to the work section. When you already have some work experience and are applying for roles with higher responsibilities, recruiters will most probably pay more attention to your work experience.
“Being Creative is a good thing to catch the attention, but it has also its pitfalls”
There will be different opinions for and against about whether or not your CV should have a creative format.
If it’s well done, it can catch the attention and your profile can stand out amongst the remaining candidates. However, depending on the position you are applying for, creativity is not always welcomed. If the recruiter doesn’t like what you did, you might be rejected even if you have a good profile. Also, if a recruiter takes too much time to understand what you did, he will simply reject you. Finally, never forget that your profile will probably not be integrated the employers database.
In a nutshell, if you are not an artist, a creative or a designer, you should avoid crazy, funky or flashy CVs.
2. The length – How long should be my CV?
The length of your CV mainly depends on your experience and activities. A young graduate will probably have a one pager CV, however an experienced worker can go up to 10 pages. However, there are no rules and some hyper active young graduate could easily have a two or three pages CV.
Just remember that only what you consider essential and worth being mentioned on your profile should be added. Nothing else.
3. The content – can I say anything?
A CV needs to be easy to read and straight to the point. Thus don’t try to make long explanations; a recruiter will take less than 1 minute to read your CV. By putting too much information the recruiter might miss essential information.
It is also essential to use a professional language to present yourself. Do not use slang or specific words as a way to explain your experience. A recruiter is not an expert and can get confused and not understand what you mean.
Also, it’s important to remind you to avoid putting info that can compromise you. You love gambling and having parties? Fine, it’s your private life! But if you want to get a job, you should probably keep those things to yourself.
4. The picture – Should I put a picture on my CV?
There is no consensus on whether or not you should put a picture on your CV. However, if you decide to put one, there is some rules to respect:
- Alone on the picture (not a cut in a group picture)
- Neutral background
- Corporate smile
- Casual clothes or suit
Even if there is a growing trend to say that you should not put a picture on your CV, a lot of companies are “old school” and still require one.
Moreover, don’t forget that in the era of Internet and social media a quick Google Search will show pictures of you. Hence, what do you want? Showing a picture selected by yourself or one of those available on the web?
5. Online reputation – Should I care about my online reputation?
Your online reputation is made from your presence over the web and not only from what you’ve intentionally added online.
This means that you cannot control everything but there are things you can act on:
- Go on Google and search for your name;
- Identify all websites talking about you;
- Improve your profile on platforms you are present;
- Visit the source of undesirable content and delete it or review your privacy settings;
- Go also on Google images and do the same.
It’s also important to show your expertise and competencies. Hence, don’t hesitate to have a blog, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, Talentsquare profile, etc. Go there, strengthen your profile, and share your knowledge and experiences.
All those actions will help you to be identified by potential employers and could lead you to interesting contacts.
6. Speediness – is there any software or app that could help me in my CV creation?
Not really inspired or you don’t want to waste your time playing with a text editor?
Then there are two websites that, after your profile is completed, allow you to export a well-presented CV: LinkedIn and Talentsquare.
Aside of those two platforms, you will find plenty of applications allowing to create your profile in different ways. Some are really well done but they have all the same problem: They are difficult to print and not really adapted to what recruiters are looking for. Thus, we recommend you to go on those platforms and create your profile there but until now we think it’s always better to join to your applications a more standard CV.
Never forget that the CV is the first thing an employer will read about you and if you want to give a good first impression, it’s important to take time to build it.
Read it several times, make sure there are no misspells in any place and that any recruiter will directly understand what you’ve done and what is your career path. Don’t hesitate to ask your friends to review it. It’s always helpful.