Home » CV format » Step By Step Guide To Write CV

A CV is a promotional tool—a platform for promoting yourself to people offering the job and compensation you want. Unfortunately, hiring managers can be fickle when it comes to CV formatting and might reject your application without even looking at your skills and experience. Read on for our CV formatting tips to help get your CV into the yes pile.

Most CVs should be constructed with these sections, in this order:

  • Contact information
  • Objective or personal statement
  • Employment history
  • Education

While you can restructure this list to suit the unique needs of your job, this basic cv formatting and the key components of a chronological CV. A chronological CV lists your employment history in reverse chronological order, which is the preferred format of most recruiters and hiring managers. If you work in a more niche industry, like science or academia, you may want to explore other CV formats like a skills based, or functional CV.

A CV should be built in a professional, business manner.

You would never submit a presentation or financial model with errors; don’t do so with your CV. Your spelling has to be impeccable and your grammar official. Stay away from the laziness that Internet lingo has inflicted on us. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but no career counsellor would advise you to take that chance when you’re submitting your CV to an unknown person.

Read each statement carefully and remove any words or phrases that don’t add to the message.

For instance, in that last sentence, we could remove the word “carefully” and still convey the same meaning. The idea is to give the hiring manager as much information as possible without taking up too much of their time. Recruiters and hiring managers are busy enough going through potentially hundreds of CVs. They are very good at identifying applicants that are trying to deflect due to a lack of substance. Being concise with your CV formatting shows recruiters and hiring managers that you value their time.

Speaking of being concise, don’t include irrelevant information.

If your hobby is building CPUs and you’re applying for IT, by all means include it. But the fact you love to garden, go to the movies and read won’t impress a hiring manager, even if it’s your uncle. We are hearing more and more about candidates who falsified their degrees and credentials and got the job – because they’re getting caught. Be honest about your work history, education, skills and other facts. Your reputation is on the line and if you’re caught you could damage it irreparably.

Always, always, always tailor your CV to the position.

Every job, every company, every hiring manager is different. There is nothing more disappointing than an “any job” CV. Uninspired candidates send out these generic CVs and then wonder why they get no responses. Build a chronological CV and use the job description to adjust your CV and CV formatting accordingly. Use keywords, phrases, skill requests, etc., to promote why you’re the ideal candidate for their operations.

CVs shouldn’t be simply cold facts about your background.

Hiring managers are looking for results-driven candidates. Whenever possible, list accomplishments and achievements. From cutting department costs to promotions and tripling product sales, now’s the time to boast.

We would also add that if you are printing your CV, use a quality stock of paper, either 24 or 28 pound, and stick to white or off-white.

Starting with these CV formatting tips will put any candidate on the road to crafting an exceptional overview of your experience. Never forget, after the cover letter, the CV will be your introduction. Decide what impression you want to leave and craft your CV accordingly.

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