How to write a CV that will not suck & will get you an interview. At least.

Through years of career journey, I met many talented people and skilled candidates, who were doing the best to get their positions. However, I met tons of freaks who were doing the same. Not to insult anyone, but that’s a reality. Every time you need to hire somebody: is it marketing manager, personal assistant, creative team, a sales guy or an accountant — you get hundreds of CVs that, honestly, suck.

I mean literally, they are so bad or so off-topic, that you don’t even want to read them. And you don’t. Sure, there are many good picks, but let’s talk not about them.

Did You decide to make your CV? Ok, good start.

You went through all those online posts from leading influencers like “How to write perfect CV”, “How to get an interview,” “10 tips for best CV” and so on… You googled some “free CV templates” or even “the best paid resume templates”. Good job! You just wasted your time on some research which will never bring you anything new.

CV templates.

If you decided to go with a template and just fill in your details, that could work for some positions. But how about individuality? If I receive two CVs that are done on the same CV template, I simply don’t look at them and take next ones in my hands. Even you are a great talent, and I definitely need to hire you, will I know it if your CV is just copy/paste of someone’s creativity? I guess no.

Please don’t use templates. Show me that you worked on your CV, at least, a little bit. Ok, at least, change colors of a template.

Actually, many of you will not agree with what I said above, but many will. Using a template for CV can save a bunch of time, and get you a job position you dreamed about. It really can, if the content is relevant.

Relevance.

It’s all about who you are and why you apply for a position. I have seen hundreds of CVs where my first question to an author was “so what are you good at?”

Make sure that your CV is straightforward and represents best qualities of you to a current position. Stop being lazy and spend some time on tweaking your resume to a position that you apply to. If I see “Looking for a role in marketing or sales” in a CV for a senior position, I’m asking one thing: “Did you know that marketing is not sales and sales is not marketing?” Lack of relevance can lead you to nothing and, even if you are a master in both areas of expertise, HR manager will simply pass your profile and go to a candidate with a better focus on offered position.

Including your key advantages and proven track of results is one of the most important points. No HR wants to read blah blah blah in your three pages creative writings (it can work only if you apply for a writer’s position I guess). Be specific, include industry specific terms. But again, only if you understand the meaning of them. If not, better think to take another approach.

Keep it short and sharp.

I love one page CVs. Ok, sometimes two pages are necessary, but for the sake, don’t make it five pages.

Believe me, one page for CV is enough to show your key values if you are an expert in your industry. I can accept longer only if that’s a junior position.

Go straight to a point. No one wants to know about your skills in typing if you apply to a position that will deal with advertising management. Same as no one cares if you worked as a waitress when you apply to a position of a content marketer. Sounds rude, but that’s true. I care about what I look for, and wasting time on reading nonsense from a CV is making me look on another one.

If you lie, be short.

Who never lied on a CV? Oh, come on! Everyone did. Don’t write too much about something that you never did. Remember, more you write, more questions you will get during the interview. And you don’t want to be in a situation where you simply don’t know what to say.

Tell truth. Even if you have no experience, show that you want to get it.

I was hiring people without experience at all, for their honesty and passion in a position. If you are ready to learn and want to learn, why not to give a chance to you? The question is if you take that chance and if you prove that my decision was not a mistake.

Experience. Should you show all?

Let’s get back to a Relevance. Yes, you should include everything you think may keep you on top of other candidates, but make it short and relevant. Don’t include your college part time jobs that you were doing just to get some extra cash. Tell recruiter only what you think may be useful and something that he/she is looking for.

A photo in a CV.

This is a tricky part. In some countries including a picture in a CV is illegal, and also, it is considered not professional in some places. Well, I can’t tell you to include your photo or not. Depends on a position. Sure if a position is for a hostess or a model, a photo is must-have, but if not, then you should think twice. There are many discussions on this part and many pros and cons of having a picture on resume… I’m confused to advise. All that I can say, if you made a decision to place it, pleeease, make it professional looking one and not a half-page size (trust me, I had CVs with full page photo in hands).

Contacts and Social Media accounts.

Don’t forget to include your phone number and email. It is a must have. Some do not remember about it.

Including social media profiles can be a plus in only one situation if your social media activity is relevant to your position. If it’s not, then better don’t. It can harm your reputation sometimes when HR manager will open your Facebook and see naked tits with chocolate on them, and two your friends are licking them. And a comment “it was a great party”. Or a post that insults your previous/current employer in a rude and bad language way. I’m not making this up, I seen things like that from candidates on management positions 🙂

Go and make it done.

If you think too much, means you have nothing to say. Just highlight all your key achievements, look back at your employment history and lay it down on a paper. Simply as sounds.

Take it easy and remember, it’s just a CV… But yes, it’s the first impression about you. Don’t forget about this.

Good luck with your CVs!

Oleksiy Kuryliak

Marketing Consultant, B2B Marketer & Startups Advisor with 10+ years in marketing technologies, business development, startups & political consulting.

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