11 Tips For Writing The Perfect CV in 2021

Land your dream role by following these tips to polish up your CV.

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Writing a great CV is one of the most difficult hurdles we face while job hunting. With the market becoming increasingly competitive and recruiters only having a quick browse through before determining your fate at the company, it’s vital to make a lasting impression.

Here are PushFar's top tips for writing the perfect CV:

Keep it Short - No More Than Two Pages
The best CV’s are clear, concise and straight to the point. A typical mistake made by people when writing their CV is making it either too short or too long. Recruiters receive hundreds of applicants every job posting – they don’t have the time to read your entire life story. A recent study shows that recruiters only look at your application for 7.4 seconds, so keep it short and sweet and a maximum of 2 pages.

Keep It Updated
It’s essential to keep your CV up-to-date and review it regularly. Make sure to frequently add new skills and experience, employers don’t want to see a CV that’s 3 years old. Every time something meaningful happens during your professional journey such as volunteering or obtaining awards, make sure to document it or you may forget about it!

There's No Room For Errors
Employees do in fact search for mistakes on a CV, this isn’t a myth made up by teachers to panic us. Spelling and grammar mistakes can reflect badly upon you as a candidate throughout your job hunting. Even if you’re the most experienced person applying and know you’d be the ideal fit for the role, mistakes can risk your CV being automatically disqualified. Make sure to go through with a fine-tooth comb and check for any errors you may have made, it’s also advised to get family and friends to go through with fresh eyes and perspective.

Be Honest
There's nothing quite as embarrassing as being caught out on a lie. Most of us think that telling little white lies on our application is harmful and although CV’s aren’t a legally binding contract, obvious lies can be greatly troublesome in the long run. Lying about experience or references isn’t the best first impression to make on your employees, and if they find out you could even lose your job.

Tailor And Adapt Your CV
It’s becoming increasingly essential to customise your CV to meet the job description set by the employer, not just adapting your cover letter. Thoroughly review the job description and get a complete understanding of what the recruiter is looking for in regards to the skills and experience needed. Emphasis on any abilities and knowledge you already possess that are in the job description and add in any relevant information that could help you be noticed. Make sure to add in any related words used throughout the job specification, using similar ‘language’ as the employer. Organisations are now utilising software to shift through applications, looking for particular keywords. Having a generic CV won't make you stand out from the crowd and employers will appreciate the obvious effort made if they can see you’ve adjusted your application.

Only Having A CV
During the job hunt, most people assume that just having a CV is sufficient for a recruiter, but this isn’t the case. A covering letter is equally as important, further highlighting your skills and experience that make you a great fit for the position. As mentioned, with employers receiving hundreds of applications, it’s imperative to try and differentiate yourself.

Including Numbers and Statistics
A CV is a sales pitch, you need to sell yourself and what you can contribute to the organisation. When writing about your expertise, recruiters considerably appreciate the use of numbers and statistics to back up your points. Instead of writing for instance, "I increased productivity", putting something such as "I increased productivity by 30% in 3 months" looks far more impressive!

Having A Personal Profile
Another common mistake made on CVs is not inserting a personal profile at the start of the document. This is the first thing recruiters see and enables them to recognise if you're suited for the position. Including your relevant experience, industries you’ve worked in and your best skills during this section allows you to show what you can bring to the role and company. Your introduction can sometimes be more efficient than a lengthy cover letter, but it’s still recommended to do both.

Getting The Basics Right
Although there is no set pattern or design your CV needs to be in, it should nonetheless always include the basics. All CV’s need to include your personal details, work history (if you have any), skills and qualifications, without these recruiters won’t be able to tell if you’re the right person for the role and more than likely your application will be rejected.

Presentation
A successful CV is easy to read, well-presented and simple. Remember, when formatting your CV you need to make sure that it isn’t distracting and an eyesore. The design of your CV is completely dependent on your industry, for example, an accountant would need something more formal whereas someone applying for a creative position could use something more vibrant. The use of fonts, text size and colours are major factors when designing your CV, not having these concise will only make it look messy and unorganised. As important as grammar and spelling are, it’s equally as essential to take the time to spruce up your CV presentation!

Gaps In Your History
It’s also advised to address any gaps within your career rather than have an unexplained space among your roles. Having obvious and wide breaks in your working history will more than likely make the employer sceptical. There are many ways you can put a positive spin on gaps, for example, if you’ve been out of work for a long period you can write about any experience or upskilling you’ve done throughout this time. If you took a year out after University to travel the world, you can detail this in your CV.

Summary
Ensuring your CV is up-to-scratch makes you one step closer to landing your dream role. By following these tips, you’ll soon find yourself on the right track. For further support, why not consider finding a mentor to help you with your job interview process, CV writing and career progression.
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