Curriculum Vitae (C.V) Writing Tips

Do you have problems landing jobs or getting interviews? it’s most likely your C.V.

In the past few years, I’ve received a lot of C.Vs. And out of curiosity, even if the C.V was not meant for me to read, I take a look at it.

I’ve been trough almost a thousand C.Vs, and I’ve always had a note or two about each one. So I’ve decided to make those points into a list of tips for future reference.  I really hope this list helps you land a job.

 

  1. Your C.V file should be named after you. e.g. “2182011204343384.doc” it not a good filename unless this is how you were called in your planet.
  2. Use PDF. It’s much faster to render, and much stabler across computers, screens… whatever. Don’t use Doc, Docx or Rtf. Many people don’t use Microsoft Office.
  3. Pick good fonts. There are thousands of fonts you can use. Most of the you shouldn’t use, so choose carefully, and if you can find a template stick to it.
  4. Pick good colors. If your C.V is unreadable on screen or on paper, change the color you’re using. And don’t use too many colors, it’ll make your C.V. Look childish.
  5. Your photo. Unless your job requires good looks, there is no need to add your photo to your C.V.
  6. Make sure the page is not crowded. Most resume templates use tables, stick to the design it’s usually easier to read. Otherwise make sure you keep your paragraphs organized.
  7. Start with the important. Don’t place your contact information in the end of the document, keep them on top. This way, after reading all resumes. Finding your contact information wouldn’t take a long time.
  8. Your professional experience is the most important. So keep it visible, organized and detailed. I want to know where have you worked, and if you’ve been unemployed for a period of your career. I also want to know what exactly did you do at that job.
  9. Keep your information organized. The sections “Skills”, “Computer Skills”, “Professional Skills” are multiple names for the same information, keep them together.
  10. Make sure the information you state is accurate. Incorrect information (Email address, Phone number, or website) are annoying and they decrease your credibility.
  11. List all your skills but sort them. All your skills – especially professional skills – are important, but again what do you think matters the most? Put it on top.
  12. DO NOT list useless information. I really don’t care if a web designer owns a 1998 Honda Civic. And FYI, almost every software engineer knows how to use Windows XP, Excel and MS word.
  13. List only good things. We all have someone we hate back at the office, but mentioning that in your C.V is like holding a cardboard with their name all over it. Don’t mention bad things about a previous employer. We might be friends after all.
  14. Have someone review your C.V. Unless you don’t have any friends you can find someone to discuss your C.V. Also try to make sure you don’t have spelling mistakes or grammar mistakes, personally I hate that.
  15. If you have professional references, list them. After all, I might know one of your references. This might help you land and interview.
  16. What position are you seeking? When I open a C.V I received a while ago, I don’t want to search for the position you applied for, keep it visible in the first page.
  17. Look professional. I really can’t send a job offer with a straight face to “[email protected]”. Please use a professional email address.
  18. DO NOT lie. Believe it or not, anything you lie about might come up during the interview, and if you lie now, what will you do after you’re hired!
  19. DO NOT put your salary in your resume. If you’re asking for too much you wouldn’t be called for an interview. But if during the interview you prove to be extraordinary you might get the number you’re looking for.
  20. Leave no gaps. Did you spend that time in jail? If not, tell me what did you do during all periods since the beginning of your professional career.
  21. Keep your information up-to-date. A phone number you stopped using years ago won’t help your chances finding a job.

 

How many of these issues does your C.V have? Believe it or not, mine has 5

I’ll keep you updated if I find something else