We put together these professional CV guidelines because a professional CV is mandatory for you to book an interview in the current market. Think about it, your CV is a direct representation of you, it is the you the employer or recruiter meets in order to decide if it is worth their time to meet the real you. Once you are done reading these professional CV guidelines, pull up your current CV, look at it, what does it say about you? If you are happy that your CV is professional and represents you well, congratulations you have completed the 1st step in securing your interview.
The evolution of CVs is undeniably incredible, way back in the day, a CV was a piece of paper where you documented your qualifications and a list of jobs you’ve held and that was enough. There was no ATS to worry about, you were guaranteed human eyes hitting your documents and deciding if you have the required education and experience. Aesthetics were meaningless, and content alone cut it, the quality of the content was not all that important just long as you ticked the basic requirements. Currently, the job market is so tough and saturated, employers are spoiled for choice.
Here are 5 professional CV guidelines to help you get your CV ready.
1. Leave the past in the past
The content of your CV needs to be relevant, this means there is absolutely no room for meaningless information on your CV, it needs to be content that describes that type of candidate you are and what work or studies make you a perfect candidate for that role. You can briefly cover where you started in your professional summary, but this should not be the focal point, it should be there just to demonstrate your career progression.
2. Less is more
An ideal CV is 2 pages long, if you struggle to summarise your relevant accomplishments in 2 pages then a 4 page CV is the recommended maximum. Older jobs that have nothing to do with what you are applying for should just have, company, title and period listed to show that you have been working for X number of years. If you however lack the space, cover number of years’ experience in your professional summary in 1 sentence and leave it out of the career history section.
3. Get is ready well in advance
Do not wait till a job you want gets advertised to update your professional CV, cause if you do, you’ve left it too late. There are thousands of equally qualified, well-organised candidates that will put in their application before you and might even book interviews before you even have a chance to submit your last-minute CV.
4. Keep it authentic
People can generally smell BS, and it’s not a good look so sound like an advertisement or a robot. You are a person, probably well experienced and qualified and all you want is an opportunity to come and articulate your suitability to the company and the position in person. Keep this in mind when writing your CV. Leave out all the meaningless buzzwords, these have no place in on your CV. Yes, your skills and attributes should be carefully selected for keyword matching (sadly it is a time we live in) but keep the meaningless adjectives out of your professional CV😊
5. Looks matter
We’ve been told don’t judge a book by its cover but let’s be real, what is the real reason you pick up that book in the first place? It may not necessarily turn out to be a great read, but it sure caught your attention. And that’s the foot in the door you want your CV to give you, so someone open it and go hmmm what do we have here, and if your content is relevant, and you match the spec, you scored yourself an interview.
6. Bonus Tip
After following professional CV guidelines you can get your CV reviewed by professionals. Most companies including Elite CV offer this service free of charge so take advantage of this complimentary service it could mean the difference between getting your dream job or not.