Tips and Examples on How to Make a Good CV or Resume 2023: Are you looking for how to write CV for a job application in a professional manner? To write a good cv, you need to know what exactly makes up a good cv. To get that job, you have to curate your skills, experiences, and achievements in such a way that someone reading your resume should be able to find out how you can help the company they are hiring for. The importance of writing a good quality cv is immense.
However, many people fail to understand how crucial it is to present yourself in the best possible light so that your chances of getting picked increase dramatically. But how do you write a CV which resonates with the reader? Here are some important tips and simple guidelines that will help you write an impressive and job-winning CV/resume. We have also tried to mention the best tools or websites for building resumes for free online.
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How to Write a CV for a Job Application?
People see plenty of CVs on almost every website, they read and review them hundreds of times for applications, but finding the best CV formats for a particular job is sometimes difficult. This article will provide you with all the detailed information required while searching for ‘how to write a good CV for a job application.
What is a CV?
A curriculum vitae often abbreviated as CV, is a marketing tool and one of the most essential documents that job applicants use to showcase their professional and academic accomplishments. It is the sum and substance of your education and work history indicating a particular career direction. It is used to apply for particular positions within areas where an individual’s specific knowledge and expertise are required.
The best CV is one that demonstrates credibility and is interesting. It should convince a potential employer that you are capable of that particular job and you will contribute to the organization. It should include the information that the recruiter needs to verify the skills, educational qualifications, and experience of an applicant.
In most countries, it is usually the first document that a prospective employer looks at when screening the candidate for job interviews, grant applications, or scholarship programs.
Difference Between CV and Resume
A CV and a Resume are two separate documents. But in most countries, the word “CV “and “Resume” are used interchangeably. It is better to know the difference if you’re applying to work outside of countries. By reading the following difference between a CV and a Resume, you will better understand how to write a good CV for a job application:
|A CV is more detailed information of your skills and experience and can be more than two pages.||It is a summary of your skills and experience of usually one or two pages.|
|CV focuses more on educational and academic achievements.||A resume focuses on relevant work experience and skills.|
|A CV has a clear chronological order listing the whole career of the person.||A Resume’s detail can be shuffled around to best suit the applicant.|
|It is used in academia to apply for graduate programs, fellowships, or grants.||It is used to apply for all non-academic jobs.|
|No bullet points are required, only plain paragraphs.||Skills and professional experience are outlined in bullet points.|
|Elaborate and detail a comprehensive outline of your career.||Relevant and brief its purpose is to show you’re a good fit for a particular job.|
When to Use a CV?
A CV is the preferred application document. It is used when applying for a job anywhere around the world. If you are searching for an academic or research-oriented position, a CV is required for that also. In Ireland, the UK, and New Zealand, a CV is used in all contexts and resumes are not used at all.
And in Germany, CV is more commonly known as a Lebenslauf (true to the Latin origins) and is used for job applications by poor German job seekers. In India, Australia, and South Africa, the term CV and resume are used interchangeably. But the term CV is more used commonplace when applying for public service positions and resume is used more for jobs in the private sector.
How Long Should a CV Be?
The average length of a CV is said to be two to three pages, but while you start making that, you’ll end up writing more than three pages. Although there is no strict requirement on a CV’s length, keeping it short to only two or three pages will help the hiring manager read and understand your experience easier.
If you’re a graduate student or someone with limited work experience, looking for a part-time or full-time job, you can keep it to one page long. That would be enough to summarize your qualifications.
However, your CV will likely be as long as necessary to add all your accomplishments and important details, if you are applying for an academic position.
Create CV online free or create it by yourself, if you know how to, just remember the limits and the things that need to be added in the CV format. While writing the job description, make sure you write it well to ensure that you’re matching your experience with the company’s requirements. Remember that your CV would get rejected if its length is too long.
Best CV Formats in 2023 (The Order of Writing CV and Formats)
There are three best CV formats that you should know before applying for the job applications:
- Chronological Resume
- Functional Resume
- Combination Resume
A chronological resume lists your previous work and other experiences in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent position at the top and your least job down below. It is also sometimes called a reverse chronological resume. This is the most traditional CV format and it remained the most common for many years.
The order of writing a chronological CV format usually includes:
- Your contact information
- Objectives or summary statements
- Professional experience
- Relevant skills
- Additional information (i.e. any volunteer work and special interests – optional)
It works for anyone looking for any kind of job, whether it’s a student or a new graduate. Because it’s the simplest way to organize limited work experience. However, if you have multiple gaps in your past employment and you’re looking to change your work experience or career is heavily varied. In that case, you may want to consider a combination of a functional resume.
A functional resume is one of the best CV formats that focuses more on relevant skills than work history. The main difference between a chronological resume and a functional resume is that a functional resume groups your experience under skill categories instead of job titles.
The order of writing a Functional CV format usually includes:
- Contact information
- Objectives or summary statement
- Work experience
- Work education
- And, additional details (i.e. any volunteer work or special interests)
Functional CV making is best in case of multiple gaps in employment or shifting careers with less experience in the industry in which you’re applying. But in some cases, this CV might be too limiting. If you have no gaps in your employment history or have some experience, then a combination CV might be the right choice.
This resume is the combination of both the above resumes mentioned. This CV format allows you to emphasize both your work experience and relevant skills. In this resume format, you may need to eliminate the optional sections such as volunteer work or special interests.
The reason behind this is your skills and employment history will consume most of your CV’s space that you might end up excluding the additional information.
The order of writing a combination CV format usually includes:
- Contact information
- Objectives or summary statements
- Work experience
- Summary of most relevant skills
This one is a more flexible format because you can list either your skills or your work experience first depending on which you consider more important for the role.
Tips For Formatting a CV
The following tips will help you to keep your CV well organized:
- CV length: Keep your CV to two pages long, while resumes are generally one page. Save it as a PDF file or print it on paper.
- Font Choice and Font Size: Keep your font size to 11 or 12 points and set margins to no less than 0.5 inches all around. Your name and section headings can be bolded or a little larger. And fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri are best for CV Making.
- Be concise: Use brief statements in the form of sentences or bullets.
- Format: Be sure to keep each section uniform while. For example, if you put the name of one company in italics, every company’s name must be in italics. Make a bulleted list of each accomplishment in a particular position. This will maintain your CV organized and easy to read.
- Accuracy: be sure to check your CV’s spelling, grammar, tenses, and names of companies and people before sending it.
Note: Your CV should vary in design and content based on the position and the company you are applying to.
Adding Contact Information
You should include your contact information at the top while making a CV. For clarity, your contact information must include the following things:
- Your full name
- Professional title
- Email address
- Phone number
- Home address
- And, your LinkedIn profile
If you’re applying for outside countries, you may include your personal information such as gender, date of birth marital status, etc.
Add a Personal Note/Profile
A CV personal statement is a brief (100 words) paragraph at the top of your CV format that provides an overview of your skills and qualifications. Fill it with relevant keywords for your job and explain why you are the best suitable candidate for this job.
- If you’re a newbie with no relevant experience, write a CV objective as a summary of the skills you’ve mastered and how well you’d fit in.
- If you’re an experienced candidate, write your statement as a CV summary, and highlight your top professional achievements.
Relevant Work Experience & Achievements
List down your relevant work experience, including academic and non-academic work that is related to your job.
- Start with your most recent job
- Then, list your previous jobs chronologically descending
- List: the employer, position, date of employment
- For each entry below, include up to 5 bullet points explaining your achievements and responsibilities.
Adding the Education Section
This section includes your school and graduate studies. For best CV formats, include the following:
- In your graduation year, if you’re still studying, enter your expected graduation date.
- Your degree
- The institution name, where you’ve studied
- Sub-honours (if applicable)
Place these points above your work history and mention the coursework you’ve completed.
Add Relevant Skills
List your relevant skills like the languages you’ve known, computing skills, etc. here’s how you can list your skills on a CV step by step:
- Start with a spreadsheet with a master list of all the professional skills you have or developed.
- Study the job ad carefully and look for skill-related keywords.
- Add those skills from your list that match the job description.
- Mention your skills in your CV personal statement and work history sections as well, instead of listing them only in the skill section.
Add the Hobbies Section
Everyone has different hobbies that fit different career options. You must add your hobbies in your CV under the hobbies section. Whether it’s sports, blogging, volunteering, traveling, art &design, music, or reading, add all the relevant hobbies to your CV. This will help the recruiter to understand you as a person.
Note: The best CV examples include all the above-mentioned information. You must consider adding these to your CV to give the best impression of your profile.
Use a Professional CV Template & Edit Them Well
If you don’t know how to write a good CV for a job application, you can search for professional CV templates and edit them with your information. In this way, it will become easier for you to make the perfect CV for your profile.
No matter what job you’re applying for, there are many CV templates that you can use to make your CV look professional. You just need to include the necessary details while making the one. Set the order of sections you have to follow if you want your application to be taken seriously. Every CV should include the following sections:
- Contact information
- Personal profile
- Work experience
These are the essential things to add, if any one of these is missing in your CV, there’s a chance of your CV getting rejected. Along with these, there are some additional sections also that can be added to make a great impression.
Make a CV Online with Free CV Builder Online
You can use an online resume maker with available advanced creation tools to tell your professional story that attracts attention and engages recruiters, hiring managers, or even CEOs.
You can create a CV online free with all the free sites and apps in today’s world. There are various tools for free resume building online. You just need to search a little for that and your CV is ready with proper CV templates and your details.
- Search for CV templates and choose one with a sleek design and layout.
- Start by filling the blanks with your details.
- Customize it with your documents and make it truly yours.
Some examples of resources to create a CV online for free:
- CVMKR.COM: This website facilitates you to build a CV very professionally for free of cost.
- NOVORESUME.COM: The Online Resume Builder guides on creating a professional resume as well as a cover letter.
- ZETY.COM: With the Zety CV maker online, you’ll be able to create an excellent CV that shows you at your best. There are a lot of best CV formats, templates, and examples available.
- RESUME.IO: It assists you to build your job-winning resume by using professional field-tested resume templates.
- CV-TEMPLATE.COM: One of the best free CV builders online that is optimized for a great-looking CV.
Use a Cover Letter
A cover letter is a single-page letter that you add to your job application. Writing a cover letter makes a good impression on the recruiter, so you must add it unless the job advertisement says not to.
Most the cover letters involve the following three steps:
- Explain why you’re writing this letter: That means are you replying in response to an ad or were you referred to the recipient.
- Refer to your qualifications: related to what you know about the employer’s needs, and what can you offer to them.
- Close with a suggested plan of action: Explain how you intend to follow up because it’s your responsibility to follow up after sending a resume. Always mention in the last paragraph of the letter, that how and when you intend to contact them.
Keep your cover letter short because it is meant to be a summary of your resume, so one page is enough. Use an appropriate cover letter for your job application. It should show that you know about the job and what the employer is looking for. For this, be specific about your skills and qualities.
Bonus Tips for Writing Better CV
Your CV is the ticket to get you that initial job you are looking for. It is the first point of contact between the recruiter and you. It should be presented in such a way that is easy to read and understand. CV making is easy once you know how to make it. And for that, the following tips for writing a better CV will help you in creating a successful CV:
- Start with a name, address and contact information: list out the main contact details so that the employer will be able to reach you with no difficulty time. The details should be clear and featured prominently at the top of your CV. You can also add your LinkedIn profile to your introductory details.
- Presentation is key: A well-presented CV is a successful CV. For making a well-presented CV, you should check that the CV is printed on clean, crisp white paper, and the layout should be clean and well-structured. Your CV should never be folded or crumpled, so use an A4 envelope to post your applications.
- Use active language: This means using powerful words like earned, achieved, completed, or accomplished. These words will leave a professional impact on the recruiter’s eye. If your CV is too long, you should consider making sentences shorter and ideas more concise to make them shorter. Stick to no more than two pages of A4 size sheets.
- Understand the job description: Before applying for a job application, read the job description carefully. Because the clues are in the job application only. Create bullet points and notes highlighting everything you can satisfy and those you can’t.
- Only include sections and subheadings you need: Many resume templates include more sections and subheadings that might not be necessary for you. For example, there are both resume summaries and resume objectives, but you only need one. If you are just graduated and don’t have any experience, you can replace the experience section with relevant coursework or academic achievement, or internships.
- Keep your CV updated: your CV should be up to date every time you apply for a new job application. Review your CV and add any new skills or experience you have now. For instance, you’ve just done some volunteer work or a new project, so make sure you’ve added that in your CV as well to boost your profile.
Examples of Good CV
Best CV examples in text version:
123 Somewhere Road, Niceville, FL
An MBA with 2 years of experience in developing and managing marketing campaigns and specialized working knowledge of Google Analytics and AdWords, seeks the role of Social Media Marketing Manager with ABC Inc. to perform successful digital marketing campaigns and provide exceptional thought leadership.
SUMMARY OF SKILLS
- One year of experience leading PPC and SEO marketing strategies
- Managed social media accounts for two businesses with yearly sales of over $50,000
- Certified Digital Marketer 2016, Udacity
- Social Media Marketing Associate, XYZ Company, Nashville, TN, 2017-2019
- Developed compelling CTAs for website and social media copy, producing a 65% rise in sales
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2007-2010
Available upon request
How to Write a CV for a Job with No Experience
You may think it’s hard to write a CV for a job with no experience because many jobs require experienced workers. But the only way you can increase experience is by getting those jobs. However, it is possible to make a CV with no previous work experience. The following points will help you with how to write a CV for a job with no experience:
- CV profile: Start your CV with an attention-grabbing introduction, summarizing why you’re the right candidate for the positions you are applying to. Talk about your background and core skills, educational history, and interests. Give them a good reason to consider you.
- What to include in your CV with no experience: Your qualifications, which include your education, courses, and degree. Your core skills, include the marketable skills you’ve acquired in school or college or any skill related to work. And, your passion, includes the reason behind pursuing this career and what makes you a good fit.
- Interests and hobbies: CVs with no prior experience have included hobbies and interests that could help boost the application. Document your hobbies and interests. Describe the contribution you have had in the past activities.
- Emphasis on what you do have: a skill-based CV will have more chances for selection. Mention all the information that a recruiter needs to decide whether you are right for their role or not.
Important Points on Making a Good Resume
These are the important things that you need to include in your resume which is critical in our review and our employers’ review:
- Work Experience: List your work experience in reverse chronological order which means you have to start with your most recent position and work your way backward. Put emphasis on your main responsibilities. Complete job description and duties must be enumerated. This is critical in our review of your credentials. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have gaps between your work experiences, they must all be indicated. (ex. Sept 2019 – Jan 2021, unemployed because of a family emergency)
- Educational Background: You should also list your educational background (from your highest educational attainment to elementary). Start from the most recent qualification. Pay attention to your internships for fresh graduates. You may leave irrelevant qualifications.
- Major Achievements, Certifications, Licensure, etc (if any): These can land you your dream job. You should list them. Again your achievements should be relevant to what an employer is looking for.
- Language: List down the languages that you can speak. This is optional.
- Hobbies/Interests: These can help if you are a fresh graduate. Your employer can relate to these. This is also optional.
- References: Have a list of character references and their contact details like your former employer or professor.
We hope this article will help you in writing a good CV. Do you still have any more queries regarding how to write a job-winning CV? Feel free to submit a comment. Thank you.