Curriculum Vitae (CV) Writing Guide
Curriculum Vitae (CV)Writing Guide
Your CV is the hiring manager’s first impression of your profile and therefore should reflect your best qualities, including clear communication.
Your CV must be succinct, contain only relevant information and highlight your professional strengths and experiences.
A common mistake is beginning your CV with a personal summary. This is of little use to the hiring manager and when you’re working with a good recruiter, they will effectively communicate your personal profile to the hiring manager for you.
Below are some essential tips to get you started:
Recommended order of headings:
Key Skills (optional, though doesn’t add value if it’s a repetition of your experience)
Personal Interests (keep it professional, yet interesting. DO NOT include “Travel”. If you have achievements in extra circular activities e.g. sport/toastmasters, list them here)
Tips for experience:
Use present tense for all tasks e.g. “prepare” or “preparing” tax returns.
Your current job and education are the two most important things on your CV. Hiring managers will scan for qualification, then go straight to current position.
If your current position is poorly presented, uses bad grammar or does not include specific examples of achievements then you will lose the hiring managers’ interest.
Give specific examples that make your experience unique. See below for correct and incorrect examples, and if you’re unsure, ask the team at Clark Miller for help.
Avoid vague examples:“Working on tax returns for all entities.”
Instead, give a specific example: “In my current position I prepare tax returns for commercial companies, individuals, partnerships and trusts. I am experienced working on family groups worth up to $20M with up to 15 inter-related entities.”
Use past tense e.g.“prepared” tax returns.
Use bullet points to clearly define your skills.
Things to avoid:
Solid blocks of text. Hiring managers screen up to fifty CV’s a day, yours needs to be clearly defined and read.
Referring to yourself in the first person. Write the points as if it were an essay.
Including work experience that is irrelevant to the position you are applying for. Only include relevant experience.
Using too many fonts, different colours, bold or italics combinations on your CV. This is distracting and unprofessional.
Adding a picture of yourself. Unless it is a professional headshot, it will detract from the professionalism of your CV. If you want people to see who you are, a LinkedIn account is the appropriate place.