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Top 9 Tips for Writing a Winning CV

People spend so much time, money and effort writing a CV. And in this competitive job-seeking environment, you need to make sure that your CV stands out from the competition and shows, in a professional way, that you have taken the time and interest to pursue a specific job opening. Here are our top 9 tips to create or update your CV to catch the attention of the hiring manager:

1. Your curriculum vitae should include your name, contact information, education, skills and experience. In addition to the basics, a CV includes research and teaching experience, publications, grants and fellowships, professional associations and licenses, awards and other information relevant to the position you are applying for.

2. Before you start work on writing or updating your CV, review CV examples that fit a variety of employment situations.

3. You may want to use a template to structure your CV as a starting point for creating your own. This will give your application a clear overview which you can then tweak and edit, so it highlights your skills and abilities, which will help the employer quickly see your qualifications and experience.

4. It’s important to prioritize the content of your CV so that your most important and relevant experience is listed first, with key accomplishments listed at the top of each position. First list your present, or most recent job, and then work backwards, using a reverse chronological order.

5. State the complete name of the company you work for, or have worked for, and what they do, how long you were there–month and year. Then list the position you held and your accomplishments. Numbers, statistics, percentages get attention if you put in bold type. Increased profit by this 24%. Came in under budget by 20%.

6. When writing your CV it’s important to use a basic font that is easy to read, both for hiring managers and for applicant management systems. So try to stick to a traditional font of Times New Roman, 9 to 12 point size, and black type against a white paper. You might try a different type size for your name and the companies you have worked for, perhaps your title. But try to be consistent. Go easy on boldface type, italics, and underlining.

7. If you include an objective on your CV, it’s important to tailor it to match the job you are applying for. The more specific you are, the better chance you have of being considered for the job you are interested in.

8. You need to thoroughly edit your CV. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Also make sure your format is uniform – for example, if you use bullet points in one job description, use bullet points in all your job descriptions.

9. When you’re sending a CV by email, it’s important to follow the instructions on how to submit your cover letter and CV. Per example they may want your CV attached to the email message and sent in specific format, typically as a Word document or a PDF.

It definitely takes more time to write a custom CV, but, it’s worth the effort, especially when applying for jobs that are a perfect match for your qualifications and experience.