Polish your CV
We regularly feature blog posts about CVs – it’s one of the areas we are often asked about.
If you are a beginner to the whole area of CV writing then I would advise you firstly go to our university of Brighton Careers Service website for more preliminary help.
You can also make an appointment to see a member of staff at one of the Careers Centres for more advice.
This post is really intended for those who have already made a start on their CV and are looking at how to make it look more professional.
So here are some top tips for making the CV more polished and helping it to survive the first cull ..
- Always tailor the CV to the opportunity and think about the reader.
- CVs should have clear headings and be very easy to follow.
- The opening sentence in the Personal Profile, Career Aim or Summary* is important and try to judge what could be an appropraite tone for the organsiation you are applying to. Sometimes a formal tone is appropriate and sometimes a more informal tone will work better.
- If you try and speak as if you were meeting the person face to face it will sound less stilted.
- Think about the layout and structure – make it visually clean and simple with clear spaces in between.
- A compelling Summary* brings everything together and works especially well if you have had a range of careers.
- Avoid making overblown and exaggerated comments, for example that you are the perfect candidate- let them be the judge of that !
- Try and put the most important information on page one so it catches their eye.
- Don’t finish the CV halfway up the page – it looks untidy and can appear that you have run out of things to say. So if its a page and a half of A4 then make it 2 pages of A4 by including more details or spacing it out better. We tend to advise that 2 pages is the norm, less doesn’t allow you to say what other people with 2 pages are saying and more means it is a bit of a chore for the reader.
- Colour can be effective but stick to 2 colours so black ink and then use a contrasting colour for the headings. If you are applying for a job in a more creative field then you can ignore this rule to create a CV that will catch the eye much more. There are some ideas here.
* The terms Personal Profile, Career Aim or Summary refer to the opening section after the personal details section where you can say more about yourself .