The CV is one of the most important documents you write! An ad can have anywhere from 2 to 200 applicants. How are you going to stick out in the pile of resumes?
A CV initially gets only a few seconds of attention. During those seconds, you want to capture the attention and arouse interest. In short, you want to end up in the yes pile. What is important to think about then?
If you ask 20 people who work with recruitment about what is the perfect CV – you will most likely get 20 different answers. We have different tastes – also when it comes to CVs. That is, there are no absolutes, only best practices.
There are some common denominators and good advice that have been agreed upon:
Write your CV yourself. Use your own words – no one can write a resume for you as best you can. The subject is you and you are the expert!
Get to the point. The reader focuses most of his attention on the first page – especially the top half of the first page. Use this space smartly and write a well-formulated and adapted personal profile.
Keep it short. Use short sentences, get prepositional phrases and short paragraphs. Be sparse with adjectives.
Be honest. You must sell yourself and it is allowed to brag a little, but remember that you must be able to document everything you have written in the CV.
Be accurate. Avoid typos and change time. Do not use abbreviations – they can be meaningless to someone who has no knowledge of the organization, industry or study.
Below is a list of important keywords for writing a good resume. Keep these in mind when writing your CV:
– Easy to read
– Relevant info
CV is an abbreviation for Curriculum vitae. It is Latin for life course. This translation can give the impression that your CV should be comprehensive. That is not the case! This is not your tax return – everything must not be included.
Goal with CV: Getting to the interview The
CV is your advertising brochure and the goal of it is to get an interview. Your CV should not necessarily be the same for all jobs you apply for. It should be job-specific and tailored to the job advertisement. It shows that you have done your “homework” and have knowledge of what the company is looking for.
If you Google your CV – you will find many different CV templates. Most templates are what is called a reverse chronological CV.
In such a CV, the work experience is listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent experience first.
The advantage of this type of CV is that it shows career development. Increasing responsibility and specialization are clear. If you have been at work or studied all the time, the progression becomes clear – and that can be a good argument. This type of CV is also easy to read and logically structured. Not least: this has been the usual way to do it for many years – thus it is recognized and respected.
Another well-known form of CV is functional CV.
It describes skills and achievements under specific headings or categories instead of under employers or position. In such a type of CV, you can summarize experiences from several jobs during a job function – for example sales experience.
Like Manpower, several companies have a website where you can enter your CV in a database. Many companies also scan CVs received on paper.
Be aware that the recipient may have different software than you, and this may cause formatting problems. It is a good idea to save your CV in a rich text format or PDF.
Considering that your CV can be scanned into a database, or when you register your CV online, be smart with the use of words. Include words that will allow a potential employer to get hits on your resume. Feel free to use words that are used in the job advertisement, as well as jargon and words that belong to the industry you are applying for.
Content and structure
We start with the beginning – the paper. Avoid subject paper. There are several reasons for this. At many companies and not least staffing agencies, your CV will be scanned into a database – then colored paper will create problems. Colored paper can also give an unprofessional impression. Of course, there are exceptions – such as if you are looking for a creative job. But in most cases, the conservative and simple are the best.
Use margins, bold to highlight important things and bulleted lists to make your resume easy to read and clear. Use font size between 10 and 14 as others may cause errors when scanning your resume.
Also use an easy-to-read font – not one of the exotic variants.
At the top of the CV often comes the title CV or Curriculum Vitae.
You can advantageously replace this with your name.
Then comes personalia.
Personal profile / Key qualifications
This is an important part of your CV, and the part of the CV that is easiest to adapt to each job you apply for.
A well-written profile can capture the attention of a potential employer and cause the rest of the resume to receive more than a few seconds of attention.
But when it comes to profile, it is important to avoid clichés.
LinkedIn researched all the user profiles among the members, and has made a list of the most commonly used words.
They are as follows:
– Problem solver
Then you can ask yourself – is there anyone who would hire an unmotivated, inefficient and irresponsible job seeker?
I read many CVs during a week, and there are disturbingly many who describe themselves as a vegetable looking for a job. You are no potato !!
Avoid clichés and beware of being too subjective. The profile should be a summary of what you can offer. Read the job advertisement carefully, and feel free to research the company you are looking for a job in, before you write the profile. Describe yourself based on what the employer demands.
Feel free to bring:
– Professional qualifications
– Strengths in the work situation
– Personal qualities
If you are at the beginning of your professional career, you may not have much relevant work experience to highlight. Then it is all the more important to emphasize the relevance of your education.
You can also find transferable skills in previous jobs. Much of what you already have of expertise will be transferable. This is often what you need to make the employer aware of. Therefore, map your own competence and be aware. If, for example, you have worked in a canteen, but want to transfer to the health service, transferable competence can be customer service, hygiene and food handling.
Work experience and education
The next item on your CV is work experience or education.
Place what is most relevant in relation to the job you are applying for at the top.
If this is your education – start with the last study.
Be clear about the degree. Feel free to include details from your education that may be relevant to the job you are applying for. Did you write your Bachelor thesis about the industry you are currently applying for, or about a topic that is close to the position you are applying for? Bring it!
If you have a Bachelor’s degree, it is not necessary to include High School on your CV.
Make an assessment. If it explains gaps in the CV or time use – bring it.
Under the heading “Work experience” you should include the following:
– Name of employer
– Your role
– Description of most important tasks and what responsibilities you had. Be smart – include the tasks that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
– If you have achieved something in the previous job that is relevant – bring it.
Remember that you must be able to document what you write, so be honest, but do not underestimate yourself!
Holes in the CV
If you have not been to work or study continuously, explain the holes in a positive way. An explanation from you is far better than assumptions from the person reading your CV.
Your CV should be 1-2 pages long. If you have many small jobs – for example summer jobs, which take up a lot of space, you can collect these under one item.
Bring what is relevant in relation to the position you are applying for.
If you are applying for an office job, it is uninteresting if you have taken the boat driver test!
In today’s working life, most employers expect the candidates to have general computer knowledge. If you have more than basic computer skills, you can include them as a summary or in a bulleted list. List the individual programs and distinguish between ‘good knowledge of’ and ‘knowledge of’.
If you work with IT and sell your technical skills as a qualification for the job, the section with computer skills should appear first in the CV. IT staff must specify specific areas of expertise including hardware, software, programming languages, etc.
Language is a competitive advantage – especially for global organizations.
Indicate whether you are fluent in the language, both in writing and orally.
You do not need to include that you understand Swedish and Danish. Unless you fully master it in writing.
Positions and interests
This is not necessarily under the same heading in your CV, but I want to mention it in a common point as you can make both too much and too little out of these.
Positions alongside studies can give a positive impression in the form of commitment and great work capacity.
Include positions that involve responsibility. For example, if you are a member of the municipal council, this can show good political and organizational skills.
If you are the treasurer of an association, this shows the commitment and skills in finance
When it comes to interests, this is positive because it gives the reader an opportunity to get to know you even better. By the way, you should be a little critical here.
That you enjoy hanging out with friends and knitting are not necessarily interests that are relevant if you are applying for a job as an accountant. If, on the other hand, you are applying for a job at Husfliden, interests such as knitting and needlework will be positive. That you do some form of sport or exercise, or go skiing gives the impression that you are healthy, well and in good shape.
But you may want to drop listing it under interests. You are chosen on the basis of your qualifications, not whether you have passed Birken or not.
Here you can write that they are stated on request. Your references must be prepared for them to be called, and few expect them to be listed in your CV.
Picture, no picture
Finally – picture or no picture. There is disagreement here, and unfortunately there is no final decision.
A picture says more than 1000 words it is called. But be very critical when choosing a picture.
Party photos are not (!) An option. Also, do not choose a photo from a beach holiday in the South or another holiday. It turns out that tour photos are becoming more and more common. The purpose of this is to signal that you are fit and sporty, but are proven against your purpose. Research shows that employers are negatively influenced by untraditional behavior that deviates from an expected formality. When it comes to image, it is important to think conservatively and boring. Select a neutral passport photo.
You must make sure that the image does not take the focus away from the important thing – namely your qualifications.
If you are looking for a job with a lot of customer contact, it can be an advantage to have a nice picture of yourself. The same applies if you walk around and deliver your CV in person, then a picture will make it easier to remember you.
Feel a little about it – what’s right for you? Be aware that you will never be chosen away because you do not have a picture!
Your CV must be adapted to the job advertisement and the industry you are applying for. Therefore, much of your CV will be a matter of assessment in the various cases.