Which photo should I use? What experiences shall I include? If you are in doubt on how to tackle the beast a.k.a. your CV, these five tips will put a smile on your face. Sytske Martens, human resource advisor at EUR, shares a few of the most important aspects of building a bullet proof CV.
1. Where are you going to send you CV?
“When writing or editing your CV for a job application, think about the sort of vacancy you are applying for.” suggests Sytske Martens, “Adjusting your CV to fit the job offering you are aiming for is very important. For instance, I wouldn’t create an info graphic-like CV for a job in finance. A trick is to use similar words to the one used by the employer in the job description. This will help creating a connection between you and the reader.”
2. Appealing at first sight
“A good CV is appealing at first sight! This entails no mistakes and concise content. Ideally, your CV should NOT be longer than two pages so that the reader won’t be overwhelmed and bored by it. Make sure not to clutter the space. To add more information to your CV just fill in your LinkedIn account, which in turn should be well kept and updated. Particularly for academics, Sytske suggests to separate your academic career (e.g. publications) from your basic info (e.g. education, contact details) to make the CV look more accessible and neat.
“The most important information should be easily accessible. These are your contact details, including your home address. Those should go at the top of the first page. When listing work experiences and education remember to write the most recent at the top of the list, consequently write the oldest experience at the bottom. If you omit experiences because they were not relevant, remember to add a sentence which briefly explains what you have done in that period. Employers tend to look at your timeline, so make sure you do not leave ‘blank spots’.”
As mentioned above, relevance is a very important aspect when selecting the information to put your CV. “Once again, try to align your CV with the position you are applying for. This means leaving out all past work experiences which don’t add anything to your cause. If you are young and don’t have much experience you are allowed to include everything. On the other hand, if you are a more experienced worker, try to pick experiences which show your aptitude for the vacancy.”
5. Add photos
Adding a photo of yourself on your CV is a must. “Ideally, you would add a business-like photo of yourself taken by a professional photographer.” says Sytske, “However, the kind of photo you decide to add depends on what you are trying to achieve, which job you are trying to get. Adding more than one photo can help to make your CV visually appealing and can strengthen your position.”
Extra tip: Sytske finds it important to remind that one must beware of social media. According to her, any professional recruiting office will look up the candidates on Facebook, Instagram and so forth. For this reason, mind what you share online as you might be compromising the opportunity to get your dream job.