Your resume or CV is the first thing every recruiter is looking at. It creates that all-important first impression and demonstrates whether your skills, knowledge, and experience meet the requirements of the position. Moreover, it determines whether you are worth interviewing or not.

However, many applicants fail to write an impressive and strong CV, as they believe that it is just one more piece of bureaucracy. They believe they can rely on their communication skills and their ability to introduce themselves from an advantageous perspective during the conversation with an interviewer. Certainly, the ability to perform and showcase your skills and personality in an interview is priceless because it increases your chances of getting the job.

However, you have to be present at the job interview to prove that you are the best applicant ever. In this case, your CV is your ticket, your pass to the interviewing room where you will have the opportunity to convince the interviewer that the employer needs you.

What you should never ever put on your CV

To understand how to write a perfect CV, it is important to figure out what recruiters or employers want to see and what they don’t want to see. Here are five the irritating things that could be putting employers off your CV:

  1. Using e-mails with inappropriate nicknames, for example “mister_kitty” or “coolDeny”. This demonstrates unprofessionalism and suggests that you are not taking your job search seriously.
  2. Highlighting the fact that you have been working at seven different jobs over the last two years. This suggests that you are an unstable and unreliable employee. If you really worked at more than five jobs, do not write about all of them on your CV.
  3. Filling your resume with unimportant and irrelevant information. If you are applying for the position of an account manager, do not describe your experience as an animator or graphic designer. Your resume has to be short, consistent, and clear.
  4. Making your resume monotonous. If all text on your resume is written in a twelfth font, without bullet points or headings, it risks being unread.
  5. Attaching files that require specific software to be opened. If the recruiter or employer cannot open your CV or cover letter with just one click, most likely they will not go out of their way to try and open it.

Where and how to start

Now we’ve covered what mistakes should be avoided, it is time to understand what information is supposed to be on your CV.

First, you should analyse your work experience and compare it to the requirements of the new position you are applying for. Ask yourself if your duties, qualifications, and experience tick the boxes that the new role requires. If not, then maybe there is a way to obtain necessary duties and qualifications in order to develop and improve your professional skills and capabilities at your current job to become a better applicant.

If you are qualified for your dream role then it’s time to get started on your CV profile. Your CV profile will help your potential employers to note your ability to formulate your thoughts and accentuate key ideas and passions. Make sure that it is not too long and includes the necessary information. Put up to three bullet points that denote your technical background related to the position you are applying for. It is not a place to describe your rich experience, your soft or personal skills.

Use the right buzzwords

Analyse the job description you are going to apply for, highlight the keywords that describe the expectations of the employer, and use them on your resume. Describe your work experience with those keywords to demonstrate that you perfectly match the role.

Imagine yourself as a hiring manager or a recruiter when writing your resume. They rarely read resumes word for word, they just skim it looking for the signal words. If they find them, they pay attention to the rest of the resume; otherwise, they just move onto the next application. So, make sure that your CV contains the professional words and phrases that match up with the requirements of the position.

Show your accomplishments

The fact is that your accomplishments are your heavy artillery because they distinguish you from many other candidates. Never neglect to put on your resume your biggest accomplishments at current or previous positions. Maybe you saved time, money, improved processes or profitability. It is all vitally important because it displays you care about the company you work for and add value as an employee.

Incorporate your accomplishments into the descriptions of your work experience instead of describing them in a separate category. It will be difficult for the recruiter or employer to link those accomplishments with your jobs so it has to be clear where and when the particular accomplishment was achieved.

When you describe your accomplishments, you should also try to use key figures. You can use currency, hours, percentage to clarify them, to show the start and the finish points and to explain how your work influenced the company profit, image or work conditions.

Legibility and consistency make the difference

Ensure that the dates of your jobs are clear. It looks far more transparent and attractive if you indicate months and years of your hiring/quitting. It means that you have nothing to hide; you are honest and ready for the new job opportunity. Even if there are gaps between your jobs, it is not a real problem. You just have to be ready to explain them during your job interview.

Do not describe your job experience by using paragraphs. Use bullet points, be clear and be consistent. By following this recommendation, you make your CV legible and easy to read.

Avoid a lot of technical jargon when writing your CV. Try to make it as simple as possible. Your work experience, your education, your achievements have to be understandable. Do not use a bunch of acronyms, slang, or other ambiguous things. Ultimately, you are a professional and you want to make the right impression.