13 DOs and DON'Ts when writing your CV

With so many people out of work because of the global pandemic and the economy that went in lock down with all of us, here are 13 tips to help you if you're finding yourself in a position to have to revamp your CV and look for a job.

#1 DON’T copy the job description onto your CV.

As recruiters, we couldn’t care less about how your current company described your job before they hired you, we want to know what you actually do and your own achievements! If your CV could apply to anyone in your team, it’s useless!

#2 DO personalize your CV!

Include the skills that you have acquired and your achievements that are relevant for the job you're applying for.

#3 DON’T be vague!

It takes a lot more space to be vague than to be precise and it’s a waste of CV space. Fluffy words won't tell us what you have achieved.

#4 DO quantify your achievements and your work.

KPIs, SLAs, percentage of increase/improvement for project work, etc.
Using data in your CV is the easy way to showcase your achievements in a minimal amount of space. It shows clearly what impact your job has had on the team, the company or the business.

#5. DON’T cram every bit of CV space with information.

Recruiters review 50-200 CVs on an average day and they spend on average 7 seconds reading each CV before deciding whether or not they want to read further. Make sure your CV contains the most relevant information for the job you're applying for in an easy to scan format for the recruiter.

#6. DO make your CV readable.

Use a clear font, breathing space and short bullet-point paragraphs. Very often when it comes to CVs, less is best. Less fluffy words, less formatting, shorter paragraphs make for an easier read.

#7. DON’T use a pink or a starry night background for your CV (true story)

First of all, it’s ugly, and it doesn’t look professional - even if you’re going for a creative role, keep a professional look. Secondly, Applicant Tracking systems don't handle fancy formatting very well, and by fancy I mean: tables, lines, images or writing information in the header or footer of the page.
Comic Sans is never a good idea! Always use a professional and easy to read font!

#8. DO add the location-relevant information at the top of your CV

You require a work permit for the location you're applying for an you have one? Add it under your contact information with the date until which you're eligible to work.
You're looking to relocate to the city where the job you've applied for is based, mention it under your contact information.
Leave the mystery out!

#9 DON’T use a generic CV for every job you apply for.

Your CV is the trailer of the "you" movie. You're disclosing enough information to make the recruiter think that you're a good fit for the role and want to call you to get to know you better. Just don't forget that this is not Hollywood, so tell us about your achievements, there's no need for a cliffhanger.

#10 DO tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for.

If there’s some specific skills or tools listed on the job description, you might want add them to your CV.
Ideally, use them in context with your quantified achievements: "Used Mailchimp to run an email marketing campaign with X amount of participants, that had an open-rate of X% and generated X marketing leads for the sales team."

#11 DON’T put a photo, your age, your PPS/social security number, your marital status, the number of children you have on your CV.

Most are discrimination factors and are filed under personal identifiable information under the data protection laws. As recruiters, we SO DON’T want to see them on a CV; they add nothing to the recruitment process and makes it a nightmare for the GDPR person.

#12 DO ensure that your contact details (email address AND phone number) are correct.

You'd be surprised how many people don't include a way to contact them on their CV. Make sure to add the country code if you live in a different country than the one the job is based in.

#13 DON’T bother writing a Summary or Personal Statement.

It’s a waste of space as most people just don’t know what to write there that would be useful and make their application look good.
It’s also a massive risk if you’ve forgotten to tailor it to the job. If your objective states that you want an “in-house recruiter” role but you’ve applied for a “sales executive”, it’s a deal breaker.
If you insist on writing something, make it an Objective that you tailor to the job you're applying for. Name the job title and your top 3 achievements that makes you relevant for this job.

Good luck!