Your CV should encompass all the vital professional and academic accomplishments that would best present you to potential employers. Approach it as if it were a personal advertisement. That said, using a full page picture of yourself as the cover page is not what we’re asking you to do. With his experience in reviewing over 4000 CVs annually for TalentSpace Experiences, our co-founder, Jason has some insider tips on how to optimise your CV.
1. Simple Structure and Clear Format
Do away with the fancy designs and structure your CV so that it’s easy to read and zoom in on crucial information. Don’t make recruiters work to get your information, you want to draw them in within five seconds and not eliminate yourself from the race.
2. Essential Personal Information
Your contact information and LinkedIn URL is all that’s necessary. Really. Your birth place, marital status and parents’ occupations do not add value and more importantly, take up precious space.
3. Context is Key
If you’ve worked in relatively unknown company, useful information such as a one-liner introduction, who they are backed by, how much they’ve raised, customers, and industry help give recruiters more context.
4. List Actual and Relevant Skills
As a general rule of thumb, avoid listing language skills that are lower than the CEFR B1 level (link). Knowledge of Microsoft Word and Powerpoint are very basic skills that should not be included in your CV. If however, you have honed the mastery of Excel, this is definitely something you want to highlight.
5. Trim the Fat
Condense your CV to one page, especially if you’ve only had one job so far. Length does not necessarily imply quality. Lastly, it’s standard procedure to request for references, therefore there’s no need to include statements such as “References are available upon request” in your CV.