Guidelines for writing a CV


Once you’ve prepared your career strategy, it’s time to implement it. Many people think that when looking for a job, the most important thing is to find the right job advertisement and apply for it. But in reality, there are a number of preparatory steps that need to be taken in order to achieve your goals.

Resumegets career counsellors recommend making a detailed plan of action, fixing interim goals and subsequently doing self-reflection and making entries of the implemented activities. This plan can be made on a day-by-day basis and can include any job-seeking activities: preparing a basic CV, preparing a cover letter template, searching for interesting vacancies, response dates, preparation for a job interview, and interview results.

Such a clear plan of action will help the job seeker to analyse mistakes made, to make an internal filter of the offered vacancies. The results of such analysis will help to quickly make rational changes to your resume and cover letter to optimize further actions in the job search.

Writing a CV is one of the important points in the job search. The introduction to the job seeker begins with this document. A CV is a short but succinct presentation of yourself in the digital world. And the way of the job seeker to achieve the goal depends on how well it is written. You should understand that your resume is reviewed by several people at once: the recruiter, your immediate supervisor and a number of decision makers. Therefore, the information on the resume should be clear to everyone who is reviewing it. It is a misguided strategy to hope that an employer will invite a candidate with an incomplete resume for an interview. The recruiter receives hundreds of CVs each day, and if the candidate is not some unique individual, as the CV will indicate, the chance of getting an interview with the employer is low.

There is a stereotype that resumes are made from a template. This is true, there are now a huge number of resume writing services, you can use a resume builder on a job search website. But it’s not always a resume made to copy that helps you find a good job. Undoubtedly, there are certain rules for writing a resume. But you should understand that the resume reflects the personality of the person, his professional experience, inner motives and beliefs. Therefore, you should be very serious about writing this document.

Principles of writing a resume

There are four basic principles of CV writing:

  • Literacy: no errors, typos, slang.
  • Relevance to the job: professional experience must match the requirements of the job. Do not emphasize details that do not fit the job profile.
  • Clear and simple structure with up-to-date data about professional experience and achievements. Before posting a CV you should update the information about your work experience, carefully check the information about your skills in modern software, eliminating outdated data.
  • Reasonable length of CVs. Career counsellors suggest 1-2 pages for a CV to be optimum, so it is advisable to be smart about describing your work experience, highlighting the most notable achievements. To fit the information into 2 pages, you can optimise space with tables, font size (11-14 is recommended), margins and footers.

Resume standards

There are several standards for a resume, depending on the experience and purpose of the candidate.

When writing chronologically, the information is arranged from the most recent events to the earliest. This is a standard and familiar format that allows for a quick assessment of the relevance of a candidate’s experience.

Functional CVs are preferred by specialists who specialise in project work, specialists who have a considerable interval in their career or young specialists with little work experience. The job seeker highlights key professional skills or personal competencies and the extent to which they have been involved in projects.

A mixed resume emphasises professional and personal competences, but mentions work experience.

The Executive Summary is targeted to a specific organization and takes into account its attributes, requirements, structure and the team. It is also essential for those who have a specific job.

Creative professionals, young professionals and digital professionals like to have a resume in a lenticular format.

Internal resume design

Career counsellors recommend that you pay attention to the internal layout of your resume:

  • The font size is the best set at 11-14 pt, it is easily recognised by ATS and also easy to read. The headline can be 2 pt larger than the main text.
  • When highlighting text, use bold or italics and avoid CAPS LOCK or underlining.
  • It is recommended to use black lettering, with blue as a complementary colour. Pink, yellow and neon colours should be avoided.
  • The best fonts for CVs according to designers are Cambria, Times New Roman, Calibri – those fonts which are easy to recognise and read.

Keep in mind that some CVs are screened by the Applicant tracking system, a system that analyzes CVs and screens applicants based on matches between keywords and the job description. It best recognises pdf resumes, it does not recognise infographics or non-standard fonts.


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