Getting it right
The person reading your CV will have on average 6-15 seconds per document to decide whether it’s worth inviting you. How easy or difficult will it be for them to find what is relevant for them? The content of your CV may have potential, however, if you don’t pay attention to its presentation (structure, spaces, commas etc.), you will make it harder for the reader to realize that you are a really good candidate. And that’s your future career we are talking about.
As we mentioned before: your CV is your business card, and therefore it should be perfect. Make sure there are no mistakes & consistency in:
- dates & names
- bullet points & letters at the beginning of sentences
- margins & background
- title sections & fonts
Take care of the style & formatting:
- capital letters in proper names
- neutrally written (not in the 1st person)
- no tautologies or pleonasms or wordiness
- linguistic correctness as typos or grammar
Below you will find a table with the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
When sending out your application: the CV should always be in .pdf form with an appropriate file name. Everybody works on a different operating system and uses different Text Editors – you want to decrease the risk of incompatibilities across platforms that make the document potentially look “scrambled”.
Some headhunters may ask you to send an editable version of your CV. You may do so, but make sure to make a good 1st impression first – once they see your flawless CV in a .pdf form, you can send them your CV in any form they want.
You may ask: what about the online CV scanning systems? Such softwares are used mainly as an initial screening tool, searching for key words, analyzing candidate’s depth of experience, in order to decide if it should be seen by a “real” consultant. Our advice is to go around these systems by sending your application documents directly to the adequate person – a headhunter or your potential employer – to their email address (that is: sending your CV to JohnSmith@Company.com rather than to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). Some companies will insist to go through their website due to an internal candidate tracking system and only .doc formats are allowed – that is OK as you most probably will have to fill out forms to fit you into their standardized templates.