10 Tips to Write a Successful and Compelling CV

There are probably hundreds of thousands of articles out there on CV writing and tips to create a very successful Resume. Still thousands of job seeking individuals make the same mistakes every day and thus deny themselves the opportunity to get invited to prove what they can do for employers and organisations.

What does a successful CV mean?

Creating a successful CV doesn’t just lie in designing a good looking beautiful piece of document. A CV ‘s success is solely determined by one factor; how often it gets you an interview. If a CV doesn’t get you an interview after submitting to several jobs then do the right thing; discard that CV and write or better still get a professionally written one.

CV Success is measured only in the rate at which it gets you invited to the interview table. That is the most important work of a CV. It is your salesman in your absence; it gives the prospective employer an idea of what you are and what you might be able to bring to the party if considered.

1. Choose a Clear Design and Layout

Employers spend around 20 to 30 seconds scanning your CV, so it needs to remain clutter-free and easy to read. The last thing a recruiter wants to do is to go hunting for the information that they are looking for so don’t hide it amongst an array of elaborate graphics.

2. Get the Basic Sections and Outlines Right

For a CV with potential high impact you should learn to leave out the non-important and useful sections and outlines and include the basic sections that will project your personal information, education, work experience, skills and achievements/milestones

3. The Right Page Limits

It is ideal for a CV to be 2 pages or at most 3 pages in length. Anything above becomes a lot more difficult to get the target employers to read through with the limited time they have. Your intention with your CV should be to convey the maximum possible projection of the suitability of your candidacy within the limited time the recruiter/employer has to go through your CV.

From the first page your CV should start convincing otherwise having a 5 page CV wouldn’t help.

4. Tailor to the Role

‘One size fits all’ is probably the most mistake jobseekers make in their job search. They keep pushing the same CV to hundreds of employers for varied job adverts and applications. To increase your chances for each job application you make take some time to study the job details and tailor your CV to align with the requisitions of each job as much as possible.

This doesn’t mean you pad your CV. It means you are willing to look at your CV over frequently, adding useful information or removing useless, non-relevant bits according to the content of each job.

5. Follow the KISS Way

Keep your CV Simple; No need going all Shakespearian or trying to impress with sophisticated words, phrases and sentences. Your CV is not the right document to display your superior vocabulary and complex writing skills. Make the CV easy to read and written in direct active and not passive style.

6. Go in Heavy on the Skills Section

If there is anywhere in your CV where you need to come out blazing with all available relevant information it is in your skills section. On Ngcareers talent platform employers use job titles and skills to search for prospective individuals they may contact for a job opening.

An employer may use titles like, ‘business analyst’ ‘project manager’ etc or skill sets like ‘adobe photoshop’ ‘technical writing’ and so on to filter and narrow down their searches to get candidates who have the exact skills and experience they seek.

If you have any skills or practical knowledge relevant to a job you are applying for don’t forget to outline all of them in your skills section of your CV

7. Achievements.

Milestones in Place of Duties/responsibilities. Instead of just outlining duties and responsibilities handled at each job why not make it more result oriented and catchy to the employer by outlining the milestones, achievement recorded on each or all of the specific duties you handled for each previous or present position held.

eg something like, ‘Recorded an expenses reduction of 20% through best cost control practices’ will be preferably instead of ‘Monitored expenses and operations throughout the company’

8. Minimise Error as Much as Possible

Not just grammatical errors also avoid errors of syntax.

9. Make the Most of Experiences

If ever you had a work experience that is relevant to the job you are applying to don’t let that slip. Even if you had volunteer work experience or non-paid internship work you can include as long as it is relevant to the job you target.

10. Review and Update Regularly

This goes without saying that as you improve and get better as a career individual you should also preiodically do major review and updating of your CV to reflect new work experiences, skills acquired and educational achievements made.

These exhaustive tips should give you the key to consistently creating powerful, successful CVs that will be difficult to be overlooked when they land in the inboxes or mails of target employers. You can as well get a top CV written for you now by our Careers Service/CV Writing Team. Simply check out the costs and steps involved here.

Your CV could be stopping you from getting called to interviews; Get your CV rewritten by our CV writers now.

About Paul

Paul Eze is the Co-founder and CEO at NGCareers. He is an avid writer. Connect with Paul on Twitter

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