TOP 3 TIPS HOW TO FORMAT A WINNING CV
1. MAKE USE OF ALL AVAILABLE SPACE AND FORMATTING
A good graduate Curriculum Vitae should not exceed 2 pages. Research proves that no more than 48% of interviewers read past page 1. In other words, if you CV is 2 pages make sure you have all the important stuff (e.g. what makes YOU stand out) in the first page and treat page 2 as more of an annex. If the recruiter does not read it, no big deal.
Having said this, you can put a LOT of information in one page. Use tables in word, they are an easy way of making good use of space while making sure that everything is aligned as it should be. It is impressive the number of CVs that have grey boxes, lines, double lines, etc. Always ask yourself: how do they help you stand out? They don’t.
They only take precious recruiter attention away from the facts that make you a top candidate.
2. USE STANDARD FONTS AND COLOURS, PDF IF POSSIBLE
Arial or Times New Roman work best, white background with white text. No fancy animations. Many people (especially at interview stage) will print the CV on paper therefore any non-standard colours and animations will not come through and will make the CV look odd.
If you are sending your resume in electronic format try sending it in PDF format rather than MS Word if possible. It looks much more professional and you are guaranteed that the layout on the receiving end will be what you want it to be.
3. MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO TYPOS, SPELLING ERRORS, ETC
Any of those errors would get your CV straight into the trash a good 90% of the time. The interviewer would think :”If you didn’t bother taking 2 minutes to spell check your CV before applying why should I hire you and spend months training you?”
C’mon, you have spell check tools everywhere – how on earth can you have a mistake on your resume?
Make sure all formatting is consistent. Example, if you say you studied in “Berlin, Germany” then you need to use the same [City],[Country] format anywhere else in the CV.
Your CV is your business card. You have days, weeks, months to prepare it. You can ask for help either from friends, family or professionals. There is NO reason on earth why it should not be outstanding. The two primary reasons for rejection at entry-level positions (i.e. graduate level)
- Simple mistakes that prove lack of preparation and attention to detail
- Not having in mind what the recruiter wants to know and instead dumping dates and degrees and waiting for the interviewer to decipher them and work out why you are the best candidate.
Following these tips will get you a long long way into landing the job offer, with little effort.
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