CV Education: 8 Tips for Presenting a Modern CV

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When it comes to applying for a new job, your CV is the first thing an employer sees about you and could be the ticket to get your foot in the door and secure an interview — but how do you ensure your CV is added to the interview pile rather than the reject pile?

A successful modern CV

is always carefully and clearly presented and this will be subject to scrutiny. For instance, you may claim to have great attention to detail, but the employer is unlikely to believe this if your CV is sloppily presented. Putting together a successful CV is easy once you know how and the tips below will help with that:

1. Give your CV document a professional file name

Avoid using messy names like John CV draft x3. The filename of your CV will be visible when sending applications, so take a few seconds to name it professionally. Something simple like John Smith — Cookie Consumer.

2. Use a professional email address although it may be true it will not create the best first impression. Every part of your CV will be judged by employers, so it needs to reflect your professionalism at all times.

3. Your name is the title

After all, your CV is all about you. Place it at the top of your CV in large lettering, followed by your email address, phone number, location if needed and your LinkedIn URL.

4. Keep images & graphics to the minimum.

Depending on the location on the role you may be required to include a headshot on your resume for example in France and Germany. However that should be the only image included, do not use logos of the companies you have worked for. This can often confuse CV scanning software as well as messing up the format on other devices. Also avoid graphics based on skills (like skill graphs) as they don’t provide a tangible scale to the hiring manager. Instead include real facts such as length of experience — “3 years of cookie eating”

5. Date of birth and marital status is not required

The above does not affect your ability to do the job you’re applying for and under the Equality Act 2010 it is illegal for employers to discriminate against candidates because of this so no need to add it to your CV.

6. Keep the format and font simple

Don’t over complicate your CV by using an over-elaborate font or format. It needs to be easy for the recruiter to navigate and read your CV. This is really basic but it’s an important CV writing tip.

  • Formatwise include the following: Personal Profile, Core Skills, Professional Experience, Education, Qualifications, and Interests
  • Make sure to use bullet points in your roles as once again this will make it easier to extract the information/knowledge/skills needed
  • Make sure to tidy up your page transitions and you don’t have one sentence of a new section at the bottom of the page.

7. Keep your CV to two pages

Be ruthless with yourself, don’t be afraid to cut irrelevant details from your CV. This includes work experience from over 10 years ago or positions that are unrelated to the industry you’re entering, for example. Only very senior, experienced, executives have more however If your CV goes a tiny bit over or under 2 pages, don’t panic… It won’t cost you the job — just try to keep it as close to 2 pages as possible.

8. Proofread your CV!

It only takes one spelling or grammar mistake to create doubt about your ability, credibility and professionalism, so proofread your CV three or more times before sending it off. There are lots of free proofreading tools like Grammerly that could help but always read it yourself rather than fully relying on these tools.

We can appreciate that writing a CV takes concentration and care and hopefully the above tips have given you a few useful pointers on presentation. Sometimes you need a fresh pair of eyes to have a look over the final bits. If you have more questions, please do reach out, we’re happy to share our experiences (details below). If you have your CV ready please feel free to upload it to our talent pool on our website.