By Damilola Faustino
A curriculum vitae is usually your first and perhaps the last chance to grab the attention of a potential employee and land an interview. Yet, it can be hard to show the value of your work experience when you stick to the traditional rules of CV writing. You are different from every other candidate, so your CV should tell your unique career story. To stand out to employers, abandon the stale CV practices that make your application boring and resistible.
Work experience must be sequential
One of the most common CV formats is to lists your current and previous jobs in reverse order to show your progress and whether or not you had continuous employment. However, it’s most important to hook readers in the first few seconds, which isn’t possible if your relevant work experience is buried at the bottom of the page. Make your resume format fit the content, not the other way around. An option for showcasing a nonlinear career is to use a functional resume organised by related work experience or skills.
Personal details are a no go area
Personalising your CV is the best way to give readers a preview of your character and professional passions. To be clear, getting personal on a CV doesn’t mean rambling about your quirks or social activities. Use your career summary, education, and work experience descriptions to convey what matters to you and the positive impact you have on your work environment.
CVs must show your complete work history
Human resource managers barely read your entire CV, so you don’t have to be nervous about leaving out unrelated work experience. Employers just want to know if you have the qualifications to work for them and verifiable employment to back up your claims. The more you refine your CV to match your target job, the easier it is for hiring managers to see why you’re a good fit. Focus on emphasizing jobs and skills that show how your growth and competence have prepared you to solve problems for each specific employer.
CVs shouldn’t exceed a page
The length of your CV doesn’t matter if it’s boring. While one-page CVs were the norm when everything was printed, this rule is less relevant now that most applications are stored digitally. Just make sure you only use two pages when it’s necessary. Again, you don’t have to include all your work experience, especially when it undermines your current career goals. Edit out any nonessential details that don’t strengthen your CV and sell you as the right candidate.
A low CGPA will ruin your chances of getting a job
Your CGPA won’t have much influence over your candidacy unless you graduated within the past two years. After two years, you’re wise to remove your CGPA from your document altogether.
Let your reader know that you can provide references
Your readers will assume that references are available if they ask for them. You don’t need to state this on your CV.
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