How to write a great CV
If your goal is to get hired, then good news: you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ll show you how to write a great CV that will increase your chances of getting hired. (On a related note, if you also are in need of a new profile picture, check out our blog post with tips on how to take the best profile pic for your CV.) Plus, you’ll also find a Coople-approved CV template to use for your applications!
So how does an effective CV look like? What should you do and what shouldn’t you do? What’s the best structure to highlight your skills? Below are the Coople team’s top 3 tips for structuring, designing, and writing the CV that will get you the job you want.
1. Structure your CV strategically
Your potential future employer needs to see the most relevant information to the mission. Often, recruiters and managers review dozens of CVs a day, and they don’t have the time to do a deep dive into every application they receive. To make sure your application stands out, your CV should help them find what they’re looking for—as quickly as possible. In other words, if they only have 20 seconds to look at your CV, what are the things you want them to see?
PRO TIP: Effective CVs often contain the following categories:
- Personal information: name, date of birth, nationality, address, contact details
- Personal experience: job title, company name, tenure, company location, detailed responsibilities and projects
- Educational background: degrees earned, school name, years of study, school location, training received
- Languages spoken: What languages can you work in and how well do you speak them? (Check out the CEFR for an easy way to document your language skills.)
- Hard skills (or IT skills): Have you had any training or certifications in software? Do you know your way around a cash register? Do you have a driver’s license? Make sure to mention them on your CV.
- Soft skills (or other skills): Are you a team player, communicative, or pay attention to detail? List them as well, because they say a lot about your working style.
- Hobbies: Put interests that may be related to your work first. (For example, “photography” is a relevant hobby if you are applying for a marketing job.)
2. Make your words count
Writing a CV is hard work, and you may have many things you would like to show your employers. But keep in mind that the person looking at your CV may not have time to look at every little detail. They just need to know enough information to decide whether or not they would like to invite you for an interview. The interview is where you’ll have the opportunity to impress, dazzle, and show off your personality. With that said, we recommend keeping your CV to a two-paged PDF on A4-sized paper.
PRO TIP: Use the same keywords that your future potential employers used in the job description. The more matching keywords, the more chances your CV has of making it into the “maybe yes” pile!
3. Get your CV checked
There’s nothing worse than spending so much time and effort on your CV only to send it off and then spot a mistake. Not only can this make a bad first impression, it is something that can easily be avoided. Find someone you trust and ask that person to review your CV. If you can’t find anyone, then upload your CV text to a spell-checker or online tool like Grammarly.
PRO TIP: Try to ask someone with a different professional background than you to check your CV. This person can provide you with more objective feedback and show you tips and tricks you may not have been aware of.
Bonus Tip: Download Coople’s CV template
To help you get started, we’ve created a Coople-approved CV template for you to use on your job applications. You can get it here for free. In addition to the template, be sure to also check out our how-to guide on creating your best profile in Coople.