Your CV is an insight into who you are personally, and professionally. It is your first impression, even before you have met the recruiter. Therefore it plays a significant role in finding the job of your dreams. Whether you are writing one for the first time, or updating an old one - the idea is to make an impact. Remember, it should get the person reading interested in you. Here's how to write a good resume in 7 effective steps!
1. Start Off…
Print your name in bold, in a slightly larger font size - either 14 or 16, but never more. Put in your contact information which should include your address, email, and phone number(s) (don’t bold these). If you think providing your social media channels and blogs will help in the kind of job you are applying for, put them in. See, it’s easy!
2. Font to Be Noted
A lot depends on how your resume looks to the reader. Format your CV keeping the following tips in mind.
Casual fonts (remember it will be a sin to use something like Comic Sans), multi-colours, and large font sizes are a total no-no.
Play it safe with professional fonts like Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri in a size 11 or 12, in black.
Left aligning your text makes it easiest to read.
Keep subtitles in bold and write subtext in bullet points.
Keep your CV concise - try not exceeding two sheets of A4 sized paper.
3. Order of Things
Because they scan through tons of CVs daily, the recruiter’s eyes are tuned to follow a set format. Sticking to the most widely accepted format only makes it stress-free for them to look for the details they want. The generally accepted sequence is:
Both Google Docs and MS-Office have templates you can check out, or also opt to download options from other portals.
4. Summarize Well
Highlight your skills and use powerful action verbs (e.g. led, initiated, established, accelerated, delivered, achieved, etc.) to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. Begin the descriptions of your duties with these verbs and give figures and numbers where applicable.
Choose your words wisely and make good use of online tools and to come up with better vocabulary. For instance, Executive Assistant sounds better than Secretary, or say Accounts Professional instead of Cashier. Be descriptive, but never repetitive. Stay away from abbreviations – write Personal Assistant instead of PA.
5. Check Through
Spell-checking and proofreading your CV is a must (go to the review tab on MS-Word)! Watch out for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, typos, and misuse of apostrophes, and plural usage. Do this a few times over and then make someone else proofread it too. For most recruiters with an eye for finesse, resumes with spelling and grammar errors are auto-rejected as it displays an attitude of carelessness on the candidate’s behalf.
6. Get Online
Think of your CV as a self-marketing tool. Write it to appeal directly to the employer. Don’t hesitate to go online and look for resumes that create an impact, and tailor it to the industry specific position you're applying for. Add a cover note (even if it is not mandatory) with a well-summarized statement of purpose and you are good to go!
Above all, believe in yourself, stay focused and let this reflect in your resume. So go ahead, sparkle and shine!