How to Write a Perfect CV
If you don’t pay particular attention to your presentation and writing your competitor will take your job!
Learn the Psychology of Creating a Perfect Curriculum Vitae and Pay Attention to the mind of the CV Reader!
Are you one of those people who have sent out hundreds of applications with a copy of your CV and had no luck or response? If you have sent out hundreds of applications without a response then there’s certainly something not quite right especially if all the post have now been taken by others.
We’ve all heard of people who send out amounts of 300 applications and had not one single interview. When there are other people who send out just a few and get the job!
Why is that?
Would it be in any way disrespectful to jump to conclusions and make a judgement on the possible reason why that applicant who has sent out 300 applications and CVs for job positions and had no response?
There are some people who will get a job at the drop of a hat and there are many reasons for this including suitability, the right credentials or qualifications, experience and background training is good and just general all-round suitability for that particular position.
The person who sends out hundreds of applications is either not up to the job or is doing something wrong in their presentation and we’ve all heard these stories where people send out this many applications and you wonder why?
In most cases they are doing something wrong but they don’t know it and they keep on repeating the same thing over.
Who reads your CV?
Within most companies there’s a good chance that one of two people read your application or CV and that depends on the size of the company and the frequency of job positions available.
Either the boss direct will read the application and CV or someone will be specifically employed for that role either short-term or long-term.
If there are over one 200 applications being made and the person who is assessing your application is doing this on a regular and daily basis then they will have a specific type of approach which will involve selecting a certain amount of those applications and short listing them.
In other words they may select 100 envelopes only, open them and briefly glance over each one and make split-second decisions on which ones are going to be accepted and which ones are not for the shortlist.
And it will go something like this:
It will be picked up and if it doesn’t aesthetically please the eye of the person scanning it will be put in the no stack or the bin, probably the bin! Just like that with attitude!
For whatever reason the person going through the CVs will select the ones that catch their eye and they will do it in probably five or 10 seconds at the most, therefore it would be fair to say you may have 5 to 10 seconds to make that first impression.
If this is true then your CV will or will not be accepted for the shortlist because of your overall presentation, layout and style, size of font and ease of readability in seconds. If the person is going through hundreds then they don’t spend any more than a few seconds glancing at yours.
There really may be no set rules with the reader, what goes on behind closed doors is down to them and how they select applicants so assume the worst case scenario as is outlined here and work to that being a fact even if it isn’t, this way you have a better chance of competing with other applicants.
Bad presentation, poor readability and bad layout will be enough to get your CV trashed, what else can it be?
Some CV’s may be all bunched up, cluttered with far too much text in it without any headings which are not clearly defined or underlined without any decent space between them or lines, therefore it is crucial your first presentable page is laid out in an uncluttered manner, clear and not bunched up, just plenty of space with clear defined titles with small amounts of text underneath possibly a few lines to a paragraph outlining the most important parts that you need to sell to them.
More detail and information can be included within the inside pages.
Next would the typographical errors or in other words spelling muck ups and dodgy grammatical layout.
By the way you are writing, you are revealing and advertising your levels of intelligence, abilities in how you present or sell and communicate yourself to others on the page to that reader.
Just having one spelling mistake is enough to have your CV rejected simply because if may appear or be interpreted as – you’re not able to create a simple document without running it through a spellchecker before you printed it off and if you can’t do that you’re either lazy or lacking in attention to detail in how you present yourself or your work to others.
Okay this may sound extreme but within those first few seconds when the reader is looking at your CV they are looking for stimulation, they’re looking for satisfaction that they have found the one they’re looking for and if they come across poor layout and spelling errors you are almost just giving them what they need for them to reject it.
And possibly the way they reject it might reflect their need for them to be very thorough in finding that right applicant for the role that you have applied for.
Make no mistake, there is no messing about here and this is exactly what takes place. Ignore it at your peril and continue looking for a job!
They will pick it up, have a quick 5 or 10 second glance over it. There is almost something that is saying by the way they act; ‘if it is poor’ it is going to get trashed. If they didn’t have this critical and swift dismissive approach then they would not be able to maintain a high standard in their selection process therefore their rejection and criticism of your poorly presented CV may reflect how good they are at finding the right applicant who presents themselves better than you.
You Have Seconds To Make An Impression, Just Seconds!
Now that you know this, do not lack in any part of the first page presentation of your CV work. Make it perfect and when you’ve done it go over it again and make it better and so on always improving and get others to proof read it.
Also leave it for as long as you possibly before proofreading it as you will find the next day you may find mistakes and wording which can be improved upon which you didn’t see the day before when you last proofread it.
In the first few seconds of selection the employer or the reader has got no time to be reading between the lines or turning pages over, they will make a split-second decision on you.
That is why you must pay complete 100% attention to your presentation before you even get into the finer details of content.
There are some people who’ll send out one or just a few CVs and they will obtain the job because they know how to present themselves and the person who is assessing or reading the CV will not be able to fault it and it is exactly that which will get your CV noticed.
Once you understand this then this is not so extreme after all!
Although not essential, it would be good if you can attach a presentable clear photograph of yourself with your CV and make it really personal and stand out from the rest, especially if your photograph is smart and well dressed or even attractive. You get the point!
The one thing you must attach to your CV is a business type or calling card. A card with your name, telephone number and e-mail address on as a minimum is essential especially if it’s a good quality card although you can get some affordable reasonable ones printed online which will be sufficient.
Putting on your own personal card like a business card will get your CV noticed because you are paying attention to what the other person is seeing and you are presenting yourself better than the others in a way that shows you care how you appear and how you want to be seen.
A business type card or a personal calling card along with a photograph of yourself in your smartest looking clothes, crisp and sharp will get you noticed even more.
Go for it! Include a photo too! Why wouldn’t you?
But make sure it is not in a pub with a pint glass in front of you or on a beach half dressed etc. Ideally in a suit as you would appear in the interview, dressed to impress!
Also the quality of your paper will make you stand out. High-quality thick parchment paper or embossed paper which is very feely-feely and tactile, quality to the touch is a MUST! – Nice!
The type of folder you use or sleeve is also essential.
Keep clear of five pence A4 size sleeves, these will do more harm than good.
Don’t do cheap rubbish!
Do top quality presentable materials and present your CV in a first-class quality folder.
Obviously if you are sending many out then this might become expensive but if possible use top-quality and find the money if you can.
The investment in this will be a far better investment than all the other things that you wasted your money on.
What did you last waste your money on?
Do you get the point now?
Up to now you’ve got a good chance of getting the job over the others because you are now standing out from them who are sending in poorly presented CV’s on plain cheap white paper in a simple cheap clear sleeve with poorly presented wording, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
Even now as you read this article you are much further along in your knowledge than when you were five minutes ago when you started reading this!
The employer or the reader specifically wants to know if you’re the sort of character that they are going to like and trust and that you will be suitable for the Company and that you can do the job.
At the top of this list is honesty and integrity.
Be super honest in this, even if you are just a lying toe rag.
Your words must be clear without any exaggeration or pushing of facts. Let it flow naturally and simple, clear uncluttered presentation with open honesty. Don’t tell fibs, don’t tell lies because you will get found out and most people who read CV’s can smell great big porkpies a mile off because they are highly perceptive in what they’re looking for in the way you word your wording which is a textual expression of your character and your personal make up.
Be 100% honest with what you are saying and if you can’t be 100% honest don’t attempt it in any other way.
Make sure your CV contains all the key points to what they’re looking for.
Make sure before you apply you know exactly what they’re looking for and hit home those key points on the first page.
Additionally on the first page emphasise and highlight your skills and how those skills can fit into their Company.
Make it clear how valuable you are to them and why you think and believe you are the right person for them to take on.
Avoid anything that is considered negative.
Keep all your wording positive avoiding such words as I, me, but, can’t, don’t know.
Don’t use any form of criticism or negativity. For example you might have been made redundant after 20 years in your previous role and that Company may have treated you badly and even though that may be the case, don’t make any reference to any negativity, feelings whatsoever about anyone in all previous employment.
All past places of work must be rated highly even if you hate them. No negativity whatsoever in your comments, responses or feedback.
Make sure your language and layout is spot-on!
All your internal text throughout your CV needs to be around size 12 font with a maximum size of 16 for title headings.
Don’t write in capitals.
Print on one side of paper only, not on two.
Number each page and give it a nice heading and footer with nice quality colour layouts.
Include all your contactable information such as your landline and your mobile number, your postal address and e-mail address and specifically state what times your available to be reached on. Ideally you will be available ALL day long at their convenience ANYTIME of day and eve, and you will be reachable should they contact you by phone.
Additionally include your website address, Twitter account and Facebook accounts but make sure they’re clean and straight otherwise that can lose you the interview.
Make sure you include a personal statement at the start of your CV to grab the reader’s attention. You may need to ask others for help on this as the more feedback you can get the better.
Work experience and qualifications!
Include details of a current or recent working position and work backwards giving contact details of all those employers if you can making everything transparent and upfront.
The chances are they will only ring on or two!
Attach references if you can, even reviews and or testimonials of you or your work if applicable!
Briefly list all your achievements and qualifications and your skills, duties and responsibilities.
At the end of your CV includes a brief outline on your personal interests, hobbies and attainments or achievements.
If you are tee total or non-smoker then put that and anything else positive about your health, fitness and physical strengths capabilities, but keep it brief and straight to the point as a selling point at the end of the CV under ‘Personal Information’.
There are many different ways of writing a CV but they all revolve around these:
Straight to the point
Perfect spelling and grammar
Friendliness and your ability to work well with others!
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