How to Make Your CV a Piece of Cake

If your CV does not follow our recipe, do not submit it (yet)!

Imagine having a unique opportunity to prepare something that will captivate critics while leaving your competition far behind. This may sound like a specialty preparation by a chef followed by the critics’ evaluation, however, isn’t that what you encounter every time you apply for a job? It really is. That is why we will try to make it easier by presenting our recipe for your successful application.

When preparing your CV, you should include two main ingredients: your personality and accomplishments. Make sure your future employer remembers your CV among hundreds of others. To catch their eye, pay attention to the content but also the form. Don’t be fooled by the story that appearance is not important.

Let’s go through the entire process of making the perfect CV together!

1. THE GOLDEN RULE

The most valuable advice to all candidates is not to make a wish list, but to provide proof for each of your virtues. If you consider yourself a good team player,  dedicated, hardworking or communicative person, we will take it seriously if you give us the reasons why you see yourself that way. It is extremely important to mention all the experience you have had – from sports, college competitions or part-time work during summer as it all points to the abilities you have had the opportunity to gain.

If you believe you should be part of our team, do your best to show us by making a true presentation of yourself.

2. 30-SECOND TEST

Imagine your future employer in front of a large buffet full of different biographies of other applicants. Do you think the employer can keep his eyes on each one? If the employer can’t see the skills presented on your plate match their requirements within a 30-second scan, your CV most likely won’t hold the employer’s attention at all. This may seem rather harsh, but so is the job you are applying for. Consider this as your first job assignment – making a delicious, eye-catching CV in which key points immediately stand out!

Remember that adding a little simplicity in writing can show great organizational skills and easy decision-making of priorities.

3. DON’T EXCEED TWO PAGES

This rule goes hand in hand with the 30-second test. The length has to be reasonable, so use the space well and avoid blank spots on one side or in one area. If you have too much to say, use smaller font size, but never go below 10pt. If you still don’t have enough space finish with “References available upon request” instead of providing contact details of your referees. It goes without saying that you will have their names ready just in case. Therefore, find the right measure – not too much, but also not too little.

4. USE REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

If your CV is made in chronological order, you should correct it and make the list of your accomplishments from the latest to the earliest. Make your CV in the reverse order – start with whipped cream and finish with the crust.

The rationale behind using reverse chronological order is that it presents the most recent work experience first and then allows the employer to read back in time to see how the applicant has progressed.

5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT FONT TYPE

Headings should be highlighted by either bolding them or using capital letters. However, do not underline or use italics in your CV because it is too distracting. Most importantly, do not mix fonts. It is smart to choose a font similar to the one that your recipient is using. Again, follow the taste of your future employer and remember, even the best cake can make a bad impression if it is over-decorated.

Some applicants like to insert tables and columns. These CVs tend to look too rigid and tend to highlight the lines instead of content. Also, tables and columns can waste a lot of precious space, so you don’t need them. It is all about the presentation. Have you ever seen a cake served on a baking tray?

6. USE BULLET POINTS AND SHORT PHRASES

The next step is to pick out relevant accomplishments and list them in bullet point format. It’s like the cherry on the top of the cake!

Here are some useful tips:

  •   avoid full sentences because they do not go along with the CV concept – keep them for your cover letter
  •   omit pronouns and conjunctions to enhance clarity
  •   forget about repetitiveness in order to use space to the maximum degree
  •   use active instead of passive verbs – if you would like to demonstrate your ability to cooperate with others, you could use group activities that you were involved in (sport, art, event organizing, office work, vacation work) and spice up your CV with these verbs: participated, discussed, engaged, joined, agreed or supported.

7. PERFECT YOUR SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION

It is not enough to double-check spellings, grammar, and punctuation by yourself. You need a fresh pair of eyes to prevent you from sending out a resume with errors. Spellchecker doesn’t count because its performance is not flawless (especially if it comes to capital letters, missing words, wrong terms or lousy grammar), while yours should be. Do you know how chefs taste their food countless times before serving? That is how you should treat your CV.

Now, if you do find one, turning a blind eye to these “small” mistakes would not be the wisest decision. We rely on our employees to represent our company in the best possible way. Therefore, we cannot take the risk of choosing someone who uses language in a sloppy way and risk looking unprofessional in front of our clients, who are our main critics.

After reading this you certainly know some secret ingredients of the perfect CV and this is the perfect opportunity to try them out. So, read your CV again and see if it would get your attention if you were the employer.

This is the time to attain excellence! Until then, do not send your application.

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