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CV Writing Tips

Updated: Jun 21, 2022


It's important to have a well-written CV because it is the tool that gets you the interview. It helps to showcase your skills and experience in a professional manner. A recruiter, on average, will spend approximately 20 seconds scanning your CV. This blog discusses the information you should include in each section of your CV.

You may have to do a fair amount of research if you're writing a CV for the first time. If you are a seasoned professional, it's essential to keep your CV updated with your latest skills and achievements.

CV Basics

A CV should not be longer than two pages unless you work in education or research. The document should not be titled "curriculum vitae" or "CV". Instead, your name should be the first word on your CV.

Simple mistakes such as spelling and grammar errors, employment date inconsistencies, and not enough industry-related keywords, too much/too little information, poor formatting, and silly email addresses can cause your CV to be rejected.

It is important to research keywords related to your industry before writing your CV. Your keyword choices will significantly influence the effectiveness of your CV and how the search engines will find it.

Keep the style consistent throughout the document. You should use a clear font like Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri, size 10 or larger. A CV should not have mixed formatting, as it can distract the reader.

Your CV must be accurate and up-to-date at all times. Recruiters will scan through CVs, but very few will read every single word. Make sure you present all the information in a readable and concise way. CVs that don't make a great first impression won't be considered for the position again!

ATS Scanning Software

Many recruiters use applicant tracking software to scan CVs and remove those who are not qualified for a position. Candidates' CVs are scanned and stored in an ATS database so recruiters can use keywords to shortlist applications. The following factors are critical to creating an ATS-friendly CV:

  • Use of industry-related keywords

  • Avoid vague or flowery language

  • Include specific skills and qualifications

  • Make sure your job titles are clear and familiar to recruiters

  • Use a font size no smaller than 10 points

  • Avoid using custom fonts, embedded images and unusual CV designs.

  • Keep your information in the body of the document and don't put important information in the header or the footer (name, email, telephone number)

  • Submit your CV as a Word document and avoid PDFs (unless specified).

There are three main styles of CVs:

The functional or skills-based CV