Writing CVs is a technique that has evolved a lot over the time. From the 30s when CVs were just a mere formality that people wrote half an hour before a job interview (a few may even use a typewriter back them) until now, where hard copies of CVs are becoming less common and interactive CVs are winning the battle little by little.
Regardless of the type of CV that you want to go for, we all agree that they are essential when looking for a job or wining new clients for your business. And that’s what I want to focus on for the next couple of months and decided to launch this special offer and help you out writing, translating and designing your CV.
If you are still reading this blog post, I’m sure that you care about your CV as much as I do. And that’s why I also want to mention some tips on how to create the perfect CV so you can stand out among the rest of candidates.
What do you want your CV for?
We always need to tailor our CVs. Yes, CVs in plural, because each of them will serve a different purpose. For example, as I specialise in law, finance, marketing and business, I’ve got a CV for each of my specialisations.
What about you? How are you going to use your CV? Do you want to find new clients or do you want to get a specific job post?
You need to bear this in mind.
Find your voice
Once you know who is going to read your CV, you need to adapt the text of your CV and the voice. In other words, how are you going to address to your potential client/employer?
Of course, I don’t use the same voice when I write a CV for a lawyer or for a marketing agency. And you shouldn’t either.
Each of us has something unique that makes us different from the rest. Find how you can transmit that through your voice.
Put into your readers’ shoes
Imagine that you are working on a recruitment department of a large company and have to process hundreds of CV each week. What would you want to read in all these CVs? How would you reach a decision about which candidate fits in a specific post?
Focus on value
Both your employers and clients have two questions in mind: Can s/he do the job? Would s/he fit in the company?
You have to mention your achievements, but don’t forget to mention what these achievements mean for them. In other words, the benefits that you can provide to your readers’ businesses.
Make a list of your skills and your readers’ needs and pay attention when these match. For example, I am a translator and work with people that want to expand their businesses into Spain; I can help them by translating their marketing material so they can target a new audience.
What about you?
Mind the layout of your CV
Regarding some experts, employers spend an average of 6 seconds reading each CV. That’s why we need to pay attention to how it is organised.
For example, in these models that I have designed, you can see that every section have been carefully designed and separated from the rest.
You can do an exercise to get to know if the design of your CV works. Get it printed and give it to someone that hasn’t looked at it before (your mum, dad, brother…), take it back after six seconds and ask them to tell you what they have read.
Bear in mind if the main message has come across and restructure your CV accordingly.
Also, leave white spaces so the information isn’t all cluttered and can be easily read. Maybe you should also pay attention to the colour palette used and the font that you have used.
Focus on key information
Don’t try to make your CV longer just because it looks better. It doesn’t work. I’ve seen people that include their qualifications when they were at high school. Sometimes it may be relevant, but if it’s not essential, leave it out. Don’t waste your 6 seconds.
You don’t need to include personal details such as your birth date or your marital status. Including a picture is optional. I know that some of you may be against this, but I think that it shows a lot of you. A picture shows a thousand words. So if you have invested in a professional picture for your website, why shouldn’t you include it? But it completely up to you. If you don’t want to add it, you can also add a link to your LinkedIn profile.
I have also seen CV in which people include their hobbies or interests. Well, you can judge by yourself and see what information add value and which one doesn’t, then take it out and elaborate on the information that counts.
Proofread, proofread and proofread again
Mind any grammatical or spelling error. You can always hire a native translator to get it translated without any translation or grammatical errors. That can make the difference!
You need to stand out of the crowd! You employer could be processing hundreds of CVs. Why would s/he stop to have a look at yours? Check these creative ideas!