Many job seekers struggle when writing a resume. They fear making mistakes and not getting an invitation to the job interview. Do not worry! Our experienced recruiters at LHC International have pulled together a checklist that will help you write a perfect CV, avoid any pitfalls and help you to leave a great impression.
1. Keep your CV short and simple
Hiring managers are very busy. They often receive applications that do not seem to be the right fit. This is rule no. 1: You need to write a CV that is relevant for the job you are applying for – not less than that, but also nothing more. For example, you can mention also personal factors like hobbies or interests. But you should not list a hobby that has no relevance to the job you are applying for. The CVs hiring managers really like are short, on the point, and do not miss any important information.
2. Write to the hiring manager
First, you need to understand what the hiring manager is looking for. When writing a resume, ask yourself, what the recruiter wants to know from you in order to decide whether you are the right candidate for the position. Which skills is he looking for and what experiences would he like to see? So, to perfectly align your CV to the profile of your dream job, you need to know which competencies are a must and which ones might be nice to have. Which of your qualifications or professional experience could be the deciding factor? When you apply for different job offers, make sure that the details of your resume are always reflecting the specific job descriptions. The more you shine as the perfect candidate, the higher your chances are to get the job interview.
3. Be authentic
When we start writing our application for an exciting job and we look at the profile the company is asking for, we tend to present ourselves in the best possible manner. Be careful not to fall into the trap to exaggerate or to even insert skills or experiences that you do not have. If you do not stay honest and authentic, the risk of disqualifying yourself is pretty high. Imagine you write in your CV exceptionally good language skills in French and the HR Manager switches into French during the interview. Or you get very technical questions from the expert in the company about specific IT skills. Always stay truthful and authentic.
4. Do a proper spell check
Even if you apply for a position where spelling and grammar are not a major part of the job – your CV must be professional and should not contain any spelling or grammar mistakes. Not paying attention to the right spelling and correct grammar will let the hiring manager think you have not paid enough attention to your CV and you might be a candidate that also does not pay enough attention to his job. More than 60 % of recruiters disqualify candidates with poor spelling. Do a thorough spell-check with Word or some other online service. Ideally, you should ask a friend or family member to have a final check too.
60% of recruiters disqualify applications including spelling errors.
5. Structure well and check the design
Your CV contains a lot of information on only one or two pages. Therefore, it is important that you structure it nicely when writing a resume! A CV should follow established guidelines as outlined below. Several fonts, various colours, and inconsistent line spacing or differently formatted headings are a no-go. How to structure your CV:
- On the top, state your name and contact details
- Insert a short brief about yourself
- Add a summary of your skills
- Highlight relevant experience & accomplishments
- List further training, education, and courses
- If relevant, you can add hobbies or interests
6. Explain CV gaps
Any question that you do not answer for the hiring manager or recruiter with your CV reduces your chances to get a job interview. If you were out of employment for a while, do not try to hide it or leave that blank. Fill CV gaps with what you have done during that time: sabbatical, parental leave, caring for a close family member, voluntary work, or a stay abroad.
7. Show you successes instead of tasks
Finally, the most important tip: Most job seekers mention job titles and areas of responsibility in their CVs. However, this does not reveal any successes they had or achievements they made. To give a better insight into what makes you the best candidate for a position, think about the projects and results you had. So instead of “Team lead for XX employees,” you will give much more flavour to this if you add “Hired six highly qualified employees and increased productivity by 10% two years in a row.”
Checklist: How to avoid mistakes in your CV
- Write a maximum of two pages
- Make your CV a fit for the job offer
- Be authentic and honest
- Explain possible CV gaps
- Do a proper spell check
- Give your CV a clean and clear design
- Highlight your achievements
Do you need help with your application and when writing a resume? Our recruiters have valuable CV tips for you and are happy to help. Send in your CV here and we will get back to you shortly.
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