HOW DO I ORGANIZE, ARRANGE AND FORMAT MY CV?
Are you stuck or have no clue about organizing your CV? It’s perfectly normal as CV standards are evolving by the day.
What’s relevant today? It’s here…
- How to start off
- Your summary
- Do’s and don’ts
How to start of:
Start with your contact details.
No need of writing any headline of “Curriculum Vitae”
Your full name should head your CV.
Pay attention to how you align your contact information. It should be in such a way that a reader can easily see the important details of your CV
Move it to the extreme left or right corner of the page, whichever you prefer.
Only your name should be bold and with a larger font size, the other details should be entered in an even smaller font size from the main body of your CV.
Now moving on…
Your CV can be a game changer if formatted properly. So let’s discuss this for a bit.
Here are the rules of formatting your CV:
- Use double line spacing
- Decrease the page margins to between 1.0 to 1.15 on both sides
- Minimise contact details
- Divide each section clearly
- Use bullet pointed role descriptions
- Break up text into smaller chunks
- Clean and neat page transitions (a page transition is what happens when one page ends and other is starting )
- Name the CV file property
- Use 1.0 to 1.15 line spacing
- Use a good font size and use it consistently
- Section headings should be slightly larger than the body
- Use borders in your formatting
- Save your cv as pdf to keep your formatting intact
This format will save you a whole lot of unnecessary trouble, not to mention shortens your job search.
Your summary is just a synopsis of your career and achievements. And very importantly what you can do for your prospective employer.
It may be labelled as “ Personal Profile” or “Personal Statement “, whatever works for you.
Immediately below your contact information is where this very important section belongs.
There are the rules.
- Be straight to the point
- Don’t use more than 200 words
- No need for personal details
- Employ power words
- Demonstrate proven track record
- Bullet point skills
- No more than a few lines
- Emphasize achievements over responsibilities
- Don’t lie
- Make use of keywords in describing roles.
What did I miss out?
Do’s and Don’t’s
Following standard CV rules will save you a whole lot of trouble. Here are some.
- Study the job listing before writing a cv
- Tell the truth
- Include only relevant skills
- Format your cv before sending it out
- Use keywords when describing roles
- Use no more than two pages
- Pay attention to the first half of the cv
- Don’t lie
- Don’t include your social media handles ( except LinkedIn) if you are not confident of your activities there.
HOW TO FILL THE EMPLOYMENT GAP ON YOUR CV
While you may not want to include all your work experience in your CV, an obvious gap in the CV may not speak the best of your professional forte.
An employment gap is just the period of time, usually months or years that a job seeker was unemployed.
Are there employment gaps on your CV? You should be careful with it, but thankfully there’s a way to address this.
So let’s have a brief look on some great ideas to deal with this.
But first, why are employment gaps suspicious? Well, mostly because a prospective employer has no clue of what the job seeker was up to during that interim. You leave a lot to the imagination of a recruiter with a gap in employment. They could fear you were incarcerated, in some sort of trouble, or something else…
Here’s how to deal with this while preparing for the interview.
- Be prepared
- Be honest
- Stay proactive
- Match the gap to the job opening
Be prepared: Any recruiter with more than two pence to offer you will certainly want to know what transpired during the gap in employment. You will do well to be ready for this. Don’t walk into not anticipating questions along that line. They will notice and they will ask questions.
So be ready to;
- Explain the gaps in your cv
- Reassure the recruiter you won’t make this an habit
- Keep your reasons short and to the point
- Very important; share the value you gained during that period.
Be honest: Like they say; “honesty is the best policy “. This is important if you hope to strike a good impression with hiring personnel. Whatever the reason for the gap in employment, honesty is the best dish to serve. Actually, you don’t need to go into the details of the story but you’re better off talking about it rather than completely leaving it out or lying. Like I said, lying about a gap will hinder your chances at that job. Some employers do background check of their prospective employers.
Stay proactive: While you’re out looking for a job placement in an organisation, it’s safe to say that “idleness” won’t do you or your career much good. Try to be proactive. Seek out great and value – adding activities to engage in.
Use this time to run professional courses-maybe online, work with professional mentors, do voluntary jobs, and so on. So long as you’re actively or even passively involved in activities that will demonstrate to a hiring manager that you’re utilizing your time effectively.
Proactivity will help set your CV apart.
Positivity: Be positive. Positivity and optimism will make your CV look better than not. Rather than say, “I couldn’t find a job”, you should say, “ I have been taking out time to develop my data analytics skills”.
You should never apologize for any employment gaps; rather make a positive statement from it.
Match the gap to the job opening: There are obviously many different reasons for a career break, whether by choice or not. Therefore it’s up to you to find ways of matching the break to suit the job role you’re applying for. Essentially your employment gap should prove that you were not idle.
You can relate the qualities required for the job role with your activities during the gap, showing to the recruiter that you’ve not only mastered the required skills but also that you’re ready.