How do I prepare an effective CV? Learn these 5 tips!

For a candidate seeking work, a CV is the calling card that’s intended to interest a potential employer, convincing them to consider your candidacy in the recruitment process and invite you for an interview. That’s why it’s so important to put time into proper preparation of this document. Sticking to these five principles of CV writing will help increase the effectiveness of this tool.

  1. Remember to use a logical structure

    Your CV should be a well-thought-out document with a logical structure, which allows you to transmit information in an orderly way. A professionally prepared document should certainly include information such as your personal information and contact details, your professional experience, achievements, skills, education, knowledge of foreign languages, areas of interest and a note expressing consent to the retention of your personal data. It’s best to break up the information into separate parts, so the recruiter can easily find what they’re looking for. In describing your experience, it’s best to use reverse chronological order, because potential employers will be much more interested in your recent professional experience than in what you were doing several years ago. It’s also important to take care in selecting information. Recruiters won’t necessarily be interested in your marital status, but information about how long you’ve worked at a given firm will be very important for them.

  2. Adjust the content of your CV to the ad

    There’s no such thing as a universal CV, so sending out the same application for each position can bring unsatisfactory results. You always have to ask which of your skills and professional experiences will be key in the position you’re applying for. For example, if you want to develop in a position as an HR specialist, working in a firm in the financial sector, your CV should include the experience and skills that will provide a basis for the recruiter to believe you’ll do well in a particular role. Stressing the attributes that are desired for a given position, or indicating your experience in carrying out certain projects, is the best evidence for the recruiter that you’re not just a random individual, and you know the content of the advertisement well.

  3. Describe your professional goal

    Some job ads draw hundreds of CVs. So it’s no surprise that recruiters don’t have time to carefully analyze each application. In this situation, it pays to make sure your application stands out against the other candidates’ by starting it off with a statement of your professional goal. If the CV is prepared for a specific job offer, it’s important for that professional goal to fit with the position offered. It’s especially important when the employer doesn’t require a cover letter. This provides a way to show them why you’re applying for this particular opening, and in which direction you’d like to develop. It’s best for your professional goal to fit with your experience, competences, skills and interests. You can focus on writing a short-term goal, e.g. developing your skills in a certain position, or a long-term one, such as professional development in a particular sector.

  4. Make sure the document is transparent

    The first impression your application makes on the recruiter can determine whether they even bother to read it, which is why your CV should be polished not only in terms of content, but also form. The aesthetics and transparency of the document are determined not only by a logical division into various parts, but also the appropriate emphasis of key information. Be sure to have the right page layout, maintaining the margins and justifying the text on the left, which makes it easy to read the document. It’s also important to be consistent in formatting. The type and size of the font, the line spacing, the type of bullet points and the distinctions within the text should all be consistent throughout the document. And don’t forget to make your CV the right length: if you don’t want to bore the recruiter, it’s best to fit everything onto two pages.

  5. Use numbers to describe your successes

    Broad statements about your competences, skills and preparation to carry out certain duties are never as convincing as showing the quantifiable results of your work. Employers usually expect a newly hired person to increase the effectiveness of a department’s work, or the execution of a project, so when writing about your experience in your CV, it’s best to support it with numerical data. For example, if you’re applying for the post of sales specialist, provide information about how many clients you managed to gain, in what time, for your previous employer. If you’re trying to get work organizing an event, give the return on investment that you managed to achieve when carrying out a similar project.