Are you ready to take your job search to the next level and create a CV that truly stands out?🤩
A well-crafted CV is the gateway to your dream job, but with so many applicants competing for the same positions, it's essential to have a document that showcases your unique skills and experience.
In this step-by-step guide, we'll unlock the secrets of writing a perfect CV that will grab the attention of even the most selective hiring managers. From defining your target role to crafting compelling bullet points and selecting the right format, you'll discover everything you need to know to create a CV that truly represents you.
So, are you ready to take your career to the next level? Follow this guide to write a CV that's guaranteed to turn heads and get you noticed.
CV vs. LinkedIn ⚡
Since the world is becoming more and more digital, many companies are embracing LinkedIn as the new “online CV”.
🤔 So, what’s the difference between our LinkedIn profile and our CV?
🤔 Why do we need one?
LinkedIn is our general public professional profile. It is not tailored towards a specific vacancy, includes a lot more information about us, and generally has a broader focus.
In comparison, our CV has to be adapted to every single vacancy. I’m sure we all have a lot to show for, however, our CV is the place where we limit ourselves to the most relevant points. This means that we want to take a good look at the requirements of the vacancy and highlight our corresponding skills and experience each time we send it.
We have already done most of the work for our CV by building our LinkedIn profile. The content is there. It’s now a matter of transferring that content onto our CV.
Let’s do this in some simple steps. We don’t want you to spend a crazy amount of time crafting a CV so let’s be very practical about it 👇
1. Choosing a design and a structure
Before you do that, have a look at this stat:
You know what this means? You only put the most relevant information that’s strictly necessary in your cv!Step 1: Choose your CV design.
- If we want to use a template, Canva or Novoresume or Ceev LinkedIn Resume Creator are great options.
- Some more templates
- Otherwise, feel free to google “resume/cv templates” for yourself and find something that works - we don’t want to do all the work for you 😉.
- Don’t go too crazy finding the ideal design - choose something that’s simple and legible.
- One page. We know it’s a struggle. Trust us. One page maximum. - It’s okay to start big. If you need to, write everything down first and then slowly start trimming. Ask yourself - is this crucial? Remember, you only have 6 seconds!
- Everything that appears up top and on the left side of your CV is being seen first and thus considered most important.
- Include a skills section that comprises all important skills keywords at the top. This can be done in a sidebar or as a main section.
- If you don’t have direct experience in the field you're applying for, don't worry. Focus on relevant coursework, volunteer work, transferable skills, and relevant extracurricular activities on your CV. Highlight your work ethic, positive attitude, and ability to learn. Tailor your CV to the specific job to showcase your strengths and qualifications.
- We want to make sure that there’s white space. No one likes looking at a big block of text! Font 9 or higher - we don’t want people having to squint! We use bold or italics to highlight.
- Finally, we ask a friend or a colleague to proof-read it. They might pick up on something we have missed!
Now let’s take a look at each section one by one:
2. Sections breakdown
Before we begin with the breakdown, a word of warning - what we are giving you here are recommendations. You’re ultimately responsible for crafting a CV that you’re comfortable with.
Having said this, here’s an example of what we consider a great CV.
Now let’s look step by step at each of the sections!👇
1. Contact Information & Summary
- Photo: Same as LinkedIn - a picture of our upper body where we look straight into the camera. No sunglasses, no group photos, and no frowning, please. It’s Linkedin, not Tinder!
- Contact details: Your phone number, email address, and profiles on LinkedIn, and any other platform that adds value to our professional profile (for examplee, your website if you have one). To enhance the user experience, we should make all those links clickable!
- Summary or bio: We can work with the same extract you have developed for your LinkedIn profile. However, in this case, we want to condense it to a maximum of three sentences, ideally two.
2. Relevant Work Experience
All the information that appears here will follow in reverse chronological order, from the most recent (appears first) to the oldest.
Every experience should have a consistent format.
- Job Title
- Dates in the format of month/year-month/year
- Possibly a one-sentence description of the company
- A short (3 or 4 max) bullet point list with our key responsibilities
It’s very important to differentiate between professional (relevant work experience) and irrelevant work experience.
- Professional or relevant work experience. Any experience that adds value, enables us to advance or is directly related to the area where we’re looking to focus our career on.
- Irrelevant work experience. That time you worked selling ice cream when you were 14. Irrelevant work experience is anything that does not add value to our current area of focus or doesn’t help us achieve our long-term objectives.
💡Tip: Every time we’re not sure about whether to include a certain experience we have to ask ourselves: Could I explain how this experience makes me more qualified for the role in the interview?
The education section follows the same structure as the experience section.
This section is extremely important. It should be clearly visible and stand out in our CV. We should differentiate between soft skills and hard skills.
Add 2-5 soft skills from the ‘Top Skills’ exercise.
IMPORTANT: We. don’t. grade. our. skills.
Our skill level is highly subjective. A 4/5 for you might be a 2/5 for someone else. Therefore, we’re leaving the exact skill evaluation to the companies and let them determine what skill level they perceive as sufficient.
On the other hand, we should definitely grade our languages, as there’s a universal and objective way of measuring your level!
The matrix below should help you add the languages that you know.
- C1 English: C2 Spanish: B1 Arabic: A2 German: A2
Alternative Language Grading Systems
You can also use simpler ways to grade your language skills. Either use a scaling system of 1-5 or describe your level in one word (native, fluent, intermediate, or beginner).
This section will contain additional points of interest. Again, we only include those that add value to your profile:
- Awards/ Certificates
- Geographic Mobility
- Project Collaborations
💡Tip: Need some more info? Here’s a video from Google in which their tech recruiters give us some resume advice!
Crafting the ultimate CV doesn't have to be a daunting feat. With these easy-to-follow guidelines and a focus on what hiring managers really care about, you can create a mesmerizing document that showcases your unique skills and experiences.
Your CV is your chance to make a dazzling first impression, so take the time to make it perfect and let it shine! Best of luck in your job search! 🚀
This article belongs to the ultimate guide to securing your dream job in 2023! Join us as we embark on a journey of exploration and discovery, diving into the secrets of building and promoting a standout professional identity, mastering the art of crafting a winning CV, LinkedIn profile, and networking strategy, and learning the best strategies for finding opportunities, acing interviews, and making the right career choices. Check the complete series here out!
Join us for our next chapter, where we'll provide you with the 7 essential steps to creating a standout LinkedIn profile that will help you shine in 2023.