What Is The Best Template For a CV And How Do You Known Your CV Looks Right
A CV, which stands for curriculum vitae, is a document used when applying for jobs. It allows you to summarise your education, skills and experience enabling you to successfully sell your abilities to potential employers. Alongside your CV employers usually ask for a cover letter.
In the USA and Canada CVs are known as resumes. These documents tend to be more concise and follow no particular formatting rules. How long should a CV be? A standard CV in the UK should be no longer than two sides of A4 of a chronological CV for inspiration. That means one size doesn't fit all. For example, a school leaver or recent graduate with minimal experience may only need to use one side of A4.
Although not used as often, a three-page CV might be needed for those in high-level roles or for people who have gained a lot of experience or worked in multiple jobs over the last five to ten years. For example, some medical or academic CV’s may be longer depending on your experience.
While it's important to keep your CV concise you should also avoid selling your experience short to save space only include the main points of your education and experience. Stick to relevant information and don't repeat what you've said in your cover letter. If you're struggling to edit your CV ask yourself if certain information sells you if it doesn't cut it out. If it's not relevant to the job you're applying for delete it and if it's old detail from ten years ago summarise it.
Read: Why a traditional cv is still relevant in today's recruitment sector
What to include in a CV?
Contact details - Include your full name, home address, mobile number and email address. Your date of birth is irrelevant, unless you're applying for an acting or modelling job you don't need to include a photograph. Profile - A CV profile is a concise statement that highlights your key attributes and helps you stand out from the crowd. Usually placed at the beginning of a CV it picks out a few relevant achievements and skills, while expressing your career aims.
A good CV profile focuses on the sector you're applying to, as your cover letter will be job-specific. Keep CV personal statements short and snappy - 100 words is the perfect length. Discover how to write a personal statement for your CV.
Education - List and date all previous education, including professional qualifications. Place the most recent first. Include qualification type/grades, and the dates. Mention specific modules only where relevant.
Work experience - List your work experience in reverse date order, making sure that anything you mention is relevant to the job you're applying for. Include your job title, the name of the company, how long you were with the organisation and key responsibilities. If you have plenty of relevant work experience, this section should come before education.
Skills and achievements - This is where you talk about the foreign languages you speak and the IT packages you can competently use. The key skills that you list should be relevant to the job. Don't exaggerate your abilities, as you'll need to back up your claims at interview. If you've got lots of job-specific skills you should do a skills-based CV.
Interests - 'Socialising', 'going to the cinema' and 'reading' aren't going to catch a recruiters attention. However, relevant interests can provide a more complete picture of who you are, as well as giving you something to talk about at interview. Examples include writing your own blog or community newsletters if you want to be a journalist, being part of a drama group if you're looking to get into sales and your involvement in climate change activism if you'd like an environmental job. If you don't have any relevant hobbies or interests leave this section out.
References - You don't need to provide the names of referees at this stage. You can say 'references available upon request' but most employers would assume this to be the case so if you're stuck for space you can leave this out.
Read: How to make any job sound impressive on your cv
Avoid titling the document 'curriculum vitae' or 'CV'. It's a waste of space. Instead let your name serve as the title. Section headings are a good way to break up your CV. Ensure they stand out by making them larger (font size 14 or 16) and bold. Avoid fonts such as Comic Sans. Choose something professional, clear and easy to read such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman.
Use a font size between 10 and 12 to make sure that potential employers can read your CV. Ensure all fonts and font sizes are consistent throughout. List everything in reverse chronological order. Then the recruiter sees your work history and most recent achievements first. Keep it concise by using clear spacing and bullet points. This type of CV layout allows potential employers to skim your CV and quickly pick out important information first. Name the document when saving - Don't just save as 'Document 1'.
Make sure the title of the document is professional and identifies you, such as 'Joe-Smith-CV'. Unless the job advert states differently (for example, it may ask you to provide your CV and cover letter as a Word document) save with a .PDF file extension to make sure it can be opened and read on any machine. If you're posting your CV, print it on white A4 paper - Only print on one side and don't fold your CV - you don't want it to arrive creased.
How to write a good CV
Use active verbs when possible. For example, include words like 'created', 'analysed' and 'devised' to present yourself as a person who shows initiative. A good CV doesn't have any spelling or grammar mistakes. Use a spell checker and enlist a second pair of eyes to check over the document. Avoid generic, over-used phrases such as 'team player', 'hardworking' and 'multitasker'. Instead, provide real-life examples that demonstrate all of these skills. Tailor your CV. Look at the company's website and social media accounts, look to see if they've recently been mentioned in the local press and use the job advert to make sure your CV is targeted to the role and employer.
Create the right type of CV for your circumstances. Decide whether the chronological, skills- based or academic CV is right for you. Make sure your email address sounds professional. If your personal address is inappropriate create a new account for professional use. Don't lie or exaggerate on your CV or job application. Not only will you demonstrate your dishonesty to a potential employer, but there can be serious consequences too. For example, altering your degree grade from a 2:2 to a 2:1 is classed as degree fraud and can result in a prison sentence. If posting your CV online don't include your home address, as you could be targeted by fraudsters.
Always include a cover letter unless the employer states otherwise. It will enable you to personalise your application. You can draw attention to a particular part of your CV, disclose a disability or clarify gaps in your work history.
What is the best template for a CV?
The best CV template to use must look professional, modern and simple and should easily extend to multiple pages, as a professional CV is typically longer than a resume and requires as much room as possible. Their layout needs to show off your value.
The best resume templates are:
Easy to read for recruiters, optimized to be ATS-compatible, designed to fit 2-3 pages on 1 without compromising quality, formatted to highlight essential information about the candidate, attractive with or without a photo, paired with an equally good matching cover letter template.
Below are 7 best types of CV templates you can use.
My CV creator
My CV creator is a high-quality resume template which is a real crowd favourite, hard to see why. It's super easy for HR managers to quickly scan and pick out important info. And, the subtle color scheme isn't over the top like so many other resume templates available online. Your name and title take pride of place in the resume header, so your professional info is sure to shine. Then the right-hand sidebar lets you showcase your skills, languages and software proficiency. And it's smart too, using a two-column resume format means you can fit up to 30% more text on one page than in a regular resume written in Word.
Newcast is a fresh take on the traditional resume with a fresh twist on a design classic you can be sure you'll have the best resume template in the pile. This single-column basic resume template helps recruiters to scan your CV by highlighting section headings with unique icons of your choice. And the generous full-width layout allows ample room to make your pitch in your resume summary or resume objective. Then simple but effective bar graphs visualize your hard and soft skills to help let the recruiters know you've got what it takes.
This jewel of a sample isn't just one of the best resume examples it's also one of the most creative resume templates. Like the name says, diamonds it punctuates the key areas: section headings, skills, and the bullet points for your work history area. The hiring managers will breathe a sigh of relief when they get to your resume, with its easy on the eye top-down format. Apart from being one of the best resume templates for college students and interns, this CV layout is also perfect for accounting and legal professionals. What if a one-page resume template just won't cut it? Keep that employment timeline going by adding a second page. Forget battling Google Docs or Microsoft Office trying to make something compress your CV.
Enfold is the perfect functional resume template for candidates looking for a clear sense of separation in their resume style. Is a two-column template, the right-hand sidebar neatly contains all of the short-form texting a clear and visually appealing format. You'll have plenty of room to list communication skills, technical skills, and other relevant skills all in neat progress bar form. The resume language section gets the same infographic-friendly treatment. On the left, the personal statement takes its rightful place front and centre. Then below that, you get plenty of room to show off your relevant work experience, job titles, education, and certifications. This two-column resume template is a great way of including more info on one page than you could with an ordinary resume written in Word or Google Docs. Cut down on size without impacting quality!
Vibes is a unique resume template with some strikingly unique features to help you land your next job. You begin with a full-width header containing your name, title, and personal statement. Then, it progresses into a space-saving two-column body. The left-hand sidebar contains your personal info, skills and achievements. And those attractive square icons make it easy for the hiring manager to scan. No need to struggle with Microsoft Office for hours with this template in just minutes you can easily create a one or two-page resume template with this particular resume template. You'll get the interview for your dream job in a flash.
Muse is a perfect resume template for every career, but it's particularly good got those who lead teams or work with data. The two-column format creates generous white space to help draw the eye of the reader. Then the right-hand sidebar shows off your professional skills in block format.
Concept is the best resume template for candidates who want a chronological resume that puts things in perspective. It has some creative infographic resume features combined with a traditional layout for a truly innovative feel. This great resume template leaves the sidebar to the left blank for all but the most important dates for a simple and clean timeline resume. The sidebar's color also becomes the accent color for the heading areas on the right, adding another level of visual sophistication. So, if you're making a career change or writing an executive resume, this great CV template is the perfect choice.
Read: 100+ computer related skills to put in your resume
How Do Know Your CV Looks Right
You may believe that to put forward a strong application you need to provide a long and detailed CV. Wrong! Employers decide on whether to read your full CV within the first 30 seconds. Even more eye watering, professional recruiters make the ‘fit/no fit’ decision in less than 6 seconds. So how do you know the right CV.
Is it tailored to the job role?
Take a little time to compare your CV to the job you’re applying for. Tweak it and move relevant points to the top. Downplay irrelevant areas and expand on the bits you know they want to see. All in all, remember that your CV is just a tool to get you the opportunity to go in and meet your potential new employer. Include just enough detail to satisfy job specific criteria, show your relevance to the job but ultimately, aim to tantalise the reader and make them want to invite you in to learn more about you.
Is it brief and clear?
Don’t try to be clever with wordy content, special fonts, profile pictures or other distractions. A CV should be two pages, a maximum of three. Make use of bullet points and write in short sharp sentences. Don’t waffle. Focus on job content i.e. what you did. Use facts, examples and clear sharp language. Make the most of headings and bold fonts to make the key info stand out. Employers and recruiters focus 80% of their reading time on:
Current title and company
Previous title and company
Current title, company start and end dates
Previous title, company start and end dates
Avoid business lingo and acronyms. What makes sense to you, may not make sense to your reader. Don’t give them the opportunity to furrow their brow for a second. Ask your CV checking friends to highlight anything that doesn’t make sense to them.
Is it free of common CV mistakes?
See the CV mistakes to avoid guide. Mistakes are a total no-no! Get your CV checked by a second and third pair of eyes. Errors on your CV are unforgivable and may result in an instant ‘NO’ or put you to the bottom of the pile. The jobs market is competitive, don’t get rejected for something so easily avoided.
Get a professional email address, example [email protected] something like [email protected] won’t get you the job. Don’t put your social networks on there unless they’re going to promote your experience and ability to do the job. If you’ve got any doubts, suspend personal social accounts and start a professional account when job hunting.
Are Work History Gaps and Job-Hopping Explained?
Got gaps on your CV? Explain them now and keep it brief. Jumped around a lot or temped on a regular basis? Don’t expect your recruiter to guess or wait for that face-to-face explanation. You may not get that opportunity. Use cover letters for clarification and make temporary/contract roles clear on the CV.
Have numbers and examples, being used to illustrate your skills and competencies? You may do a great job of listing your relevant skills and experience, but without showing the impact your actions made on previous employers, you will not clearly demonstrate your value. Rather than simply detailing your input into a role, you should endeavour to explain how your work impacts your employers or customers.
Maybe you help to cut company spending, or perhaps you help to reduce customer waiting times. Whatever impact you make, ensure that it is clearly visible in your CV.
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