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Andrew Arkley|November 5, 2013

CV Do’s And Don’ts

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There’s a lot to get right and wrong in a CV. They’re the first thing a potential employer will read when looking at your application, so you really can’t afford to get it wrong. There’s a fine art of balancing everything about yourself as well as showcasing your talents and knowledge. Here are some great tips to help you steer your way around those do’s and don’ts when writing a CV.

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The Important Do’s

  • Clear Presentation: This is one of the first things you really need to think hard about when doing the lay out of your CV, it needs to be clear and easy for people to read. A little whitespace is good, it is visually pleasing but don’t overdo it. Select a simple format and adjust it once you’ve got all of your content down. Perfect grammar and punctuation also count, so check, double check, and get someone else to check it.
  • Tailor your CV for each application: This shows that you’ve paid attention to the job description, it may sound time consuming, but you’re applying for a job that is hopefully life changing, so take the time to make your skills shine for this particular application. 
  • Put the important information first: Whoever is reading your CV will want to know the basics first, your address, your qualifications and education and then your employment history. Put your education and employment history in reverse chronological order which makes it easier to read and understand.
  • Positive language: The tone that comes across should be professional but also contain positive words that can help describe your achievements, these can help build up your profile for the company. Some great words include ‘motivated’, ‘launched’ ‘achieved’ ‘managed’ etc.

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The Important Don’ts

  • Put in misleading or negative information: Had a row with your ex-boss and stormed out? Don’t put this in your CV! Try to place a positive spin on why you left or job, and don’t mention failed exams or business ideas that never took off the ground. This can be told later but don’t give anyone that chance to discard you this early on.
  • Handwrite or make your CV more than two pages long: These are self-explanatory, handwritten is old fashioned and hard to make edits or changes to. Condense your CV to two pages as employers won’t read past page two.
  • Don’t include any salary expectations: You can negotiate this after you’ve been formally offered a job; employers might be put off if your expectation is higher than what they are willing to offer.
  • Include photograph or personal information: Only send a photo unless requested, and don’t include information such as birthdate, gender, race or disability unless asked, these can help prevent discrimination.

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