CV Writing Tips

10 Tips to Get Your CV Shortlisted 

The first step to landing yourself that dream job is to get your CV noticed. Easier said than done because how to make a few pages stand apart from a few hundreds or even thousands? Here are 10 things you must remember when writing your CV so that you get shortlisted.

1.  Conform to a Format
While there is no set rules of how a CV should look, it generally consists of a personal details section, the qualification section and the work experience section. Its always a good idea to stick to a format that is accepted universally so that all the information is right where it should be. No employer would want to go hunting for information about your skill sets in your CV. Go creative but keep the regular formats used as your backbone.

2.  Presentation
Your CV is a reflection of you and not just your skills and qualifications. Make sure the information is provided in a clear and concise way. Highlight the important points like promotions etc in the right place. The upper center of the page is where the eyes go first and it is recommended that you write the most important points in that space.

3.  Length
We understand that you have a lot to tell about the work you have done, accomplishments, awards, certifications and other curriculum activities. However, you have only two pages to list them out. That’s right – an ideal CV has a length that goes no more than two pages. Your task, therefore, is to condense everything you would want to go in it and put it in a smart and clear manner. Prepare a layout that makes use of space in the best way. Remember that a densely worded CV looks boring while a CV with plenty of white space may seem frivolous.    

4.  No Generic CV
A great many candidates create a generic CV for all job applications. Of course it is easier to send your CV in by checking on the job heading only and hoping that everything else matches. But it reduces your chances a great deal. Although it might seem a little difficult to customise your CV for every job opening, that is ideally what you should do. Your CV needs to be as much in line to the job description advertised as possible otherwise your CV may not be shortlisted.  

5.  Layout
Choose a layout for your CV that suits the amount of information you want to put in it. Also, use bullet points where you can and use tables to organize information instead of tabs. Highlight your best skills or achievements. There are plenty of standard layout ideas available on the internet and you can even mix and match a few together to get the right CV layout for you.

6. Use Technical Words
Use technical words as much as possible in your CV to help search engines pick your CV. Due to high volumes of applications received, organizations tend to use search engines with specific keywords or skills to fetch CVs from their data base. If you have uploaded your CV in a job portal, know that potential employers will search through certain keywords. 

7.  Highlight Interests
Make a section for your interests – anything that you like to do. Your interests shed light on you to make a more complete CV. Candidates who have diverse interests or do voluntary work or services should highlight their work in this area. Again, be truthful and do not create interests just so it looks good on your CV. 

8.  Update Your CV
A common pitfall is not updating your CV when not looking for a job. It is recommended that you update your CV periodically so that you do not have to go back in time to think of the projects or work undertaken a few years ago. Also, allow work oppurtunities to come to you even if you are not looking for a change.

9.  References
Include references from people who you have worked for and who will vouch for you. For first time job seekers, its okay to get references from your teachers. And two is always better than one reference and ideally they should be from different organizations.    

10.  Check Thoroughly
Make sure that you check your CV for grammatical errors or typos before you send it to avoid a negative impression. Remember that a simple careless mistake can spell the difference between success and failure for you. 

Your CV is a reflection of you and it is entirely up to you to create it in the right tone. The objective is to dazzle the recipient and you are free to be creative in your approach to make you stand apart as long as you are in line with the standards expected from a CV.