Tips on Preparing an Effective CV

Your CV is a critical job search tool, summarizing your skills and the quality of work that you offer. Here are some tips for creating a CV that is clear, concise and effective:

 CV Content
  • Use a “Summary” of your skills and experience and not an “Objective” in describing yourself. An Objective is often too generic to be meaningful or, if specific, ends up limiting your chances with different job opportunities.
  • Make your CV easy to find. Use keywords that employers are likely to use in a candidate search. Include details of applications or equipment used on the job, ex. AutoCad 14, Allen Bradley, etc. to assist CV search engines.
  • Give a brief description of each company in smaller italicized letters to clarify the type of company and provide context for your work experience.
  • Use active verbs to describe your responsibilities. Example: Use “Wired and assembled”, not “Wiring and assembly”.
  • Unless you have just graduated, present your experience first - your experience is what you are offering and what distinguishes you from others with the same educational qualifications.
  • If a job is unrelated to your career or your personal objectives, then diminish its importance by minimizing, or eliminating, the details of the job.
  • Separate your degrees, diplomas and certificates from your professional training by using “Education” and “Professional Training”. This differentiates your base education from courses you've taken during your career.
 CV Presentation
  • Like an effective ad in a magazine or newspaper, eliminate all unnecessary words, lines, icons. Increase the white space to make your qualifications stand out. Use bold font instead of underlining.
  • Put in bold what you are selling, such as your job title, diploma etc., not company names or schools. You may also use a larger font for your job titles and diplomas.
  • Put dates along the right side of your CV as your job titles and diplomas should be most prominent. If you want to bring attention to a particular date then put it in bold.
  • Put your detailed coordinates and personal information at the end of your CV so they don’t crowd the top of the first page. Reserve the top of the first page for your name, email and Summary.

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