Do CVs really change that much? How many ways can you write a CV, after all? Surely, as long as I put all my previous jobs in it, you’ll be fine. Right?
You might not be aware, but what employers look for in a good CV changes all the time. It was only a few years ago that including personal information and keeping it to just one page was mandatory, but you really shouldn’t do that today. So, while CV trends come and go, when you’re in the market for a new job, you really should make sure your CV is with the times. This article will help make sure it is!
How long should my CV be?
We just mentioned the one page rule, but nowadays, employers will expect something a bit more substantial. Two or three pages is about right. That doesn’t mean you should pad out your CV; it should still be focused and filled with only relevant experience. If you’re just starting out or you have highly specialised experience, then one page is fine.
How far back should my CV go?
If you’ve got years of experience, then it can be quite the headache to decide how much of it to include, especially as you start going over two pages. A good general rule of thumb is to only go back 10 to 15 years or your last six positions. If you want to add earlier relevant experience, simply add an early experience section to you CV, highlighting what you believe is essential to your application.
How should I format my CV?
The number one thing you must keep in mind when crafting your CV is readability. You don’t want to make the reader’s job any more difficult than it already is. Your CV should be easy to read and understand. Use headings and subheadings to organise your information, and use bullet points to list your skills and accomplishments.
Keep your personal statement and hobbies and interests short. Use numbers instead of words where you can to quantify your successes. You can use use bold, italics, and colours sparingly, but you should stick to either the Calibri or Arial font at size 11 or 12. Ideally, print off your CV to see what it looks like; it should be pleasing to the eye and easy to read.
CV tips for 2023
It seems that spelling and grammar are becoming a lost art, but in this high-tech age, there is absolutely no excuse for mistakes. Triple check your CV for spelling errors and use an app like Grammarly for added protection. If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure that your CV is consistent with it, and go through your profile to ensure it’s up to date and polished in case a recruiter checks you out.
By following these tips, you can write a CV that will help you stand out from the competition and land the job you want. If you are now looking for a new job and would like further tips, please visit our jobseeker advice page on this site.