01 Mar 2020

Improving your CV

When you want to travel the world, your passport is the document essential to allow you to move from one country to another. Treat your CV as such. Your CV gives you the possibility to hop on to your next endeavour so make sure the necessary details are visible and listed.

To help you build your ‘career passport’, here are some tips from a person that got to see quite a good number of CVs from nearly all over the world.

Keep in mind that in the initial phases of sifting CVs, recruiters will skim through your CV trying to decipher whether you have the essential experience or qualifications for the role. Think about what you are applying for and highlight what the potential employer might be looking for from what is listed in the job description.

Certain templates are no longer in vogue. Make your CV stand out but keep it clean. Do not use many colours and pictures. Although you’re trying to show your personality, it’s imperative to keep it at a professional level.

A CV should be a factual document and not an opportunity to inflate your achievements and turn it into a boast parade.

Placing a photo on the CV is a matter of preference. For some people it helps to put a face to a name and makes it easier for them to find you on other social media accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). If you decide to stamp your photo make sure it’s a professional one and a small grin won’t harm anyone.

Write your current/last employment first and list down earlier work experiences in a chronological order. The same counts for your academic achievements.

Make sure you differentiate job titles to description to duration of employment, etc. for example make the job title bold, black, size 12 and shown as the first information of the job block, the company name; bold, grey, size 10, etc.

Those bless-ed ‘keywords’! Nowadays recruitment teams use applicant tracking systems and other means to easily find suitable candidates. If your keywords are not right, you can easily be missed even though you are more than qualified and experienced for the role.

Do not write paragraphs about your job description but simply list them in bullet form and write the essential. Unnecessary detail can be avoided in order not to have a five page CV.

If you have space add logos of places you’ve worked especially if they are renowned ones.

Customise when possible – if you are sending your CV for a particular role or company make sure to add relevant qualifications, job experience, industry experience, etc. – again avoid a long paragraph. A two-liner should suffice.

Do not masquerade your CV and be genuine. Saying you almost completed a course when you have just started, is a lie that will easily be detected should you get the job. And if you reside on the tiny Island called Malta, people know people so the chances are that your future employers will get to know the skeletons hidden in your closet.

Proofread – pass it by a friend, your HR, a lecturer, but let someone see it with a pair of fresh eyes as they may detect things that you would not have even noted.

Last but not least when you attend an interview make sure you know what you actually listed on your CV. A blank or a surprised face at your own achievements is very questionable.

Good luck!