How to write a hard-hitting and effective CV

To write a good CV, it is essential to respect a few simple rules in the general structure of a CV.

  • A CV is always ante-chronological

    Starting from the most recent experience to the oldest, remains the most common and most effective standard. Not complying with this order is perceived as a non-compliance with the standard.

    A CV starts from the present to the past, because what interests any recruiter first of all is what you can do today.

    Your last experience and your last training are usually the most successful; they increase your prestige and therefore need to be put in the first place.

    But when an older experience may seem more relevant. In this case, try to organize into sub sections and give coherence to your career path.

  • A CV is made to convince

    The purpose of preparing a CV is to persuade and not merely providing a set of information about the candidate. The vocabulary used, the organization adopted, and the order of pages, are as important as the content.

    In order to be credible and to attract the attention of the reader, you should not neglect any point, find the correct balance, take care of form and content, and select the appropriate vocabulary and sentences.

  • Giving the priority to the experience

    The experiences must appear before training. Indeed, it is the «operational» skills which interests the recruiters. This rule is also valid for young graduates, Who should mention their internship at the beginning of their CV before their training. Otherwise, they risk showing their tendency towards the academic side more than to the company.

  • Describe your professional skills

    The "skills" section has become indispensable; it gives a direct and synthetic entry point to the operational.

  • The single page rule

    Recruiters receive a lot of CVs and the time allocated to each one is very limited. Keep only the information related to your experience and skills, which are useful for the proposed job, and eliminate the rest.

    The rule of one page must be strictly respected by young graduates and beginners. However, for the profiles of the experienced executives (more than 10 years experience) and the elderly it is possible to add a second and third page, as long as the professional context allows it.

  • The good organization of space

    It is advisable for a CV in A4 format, to take the vertical shape with the adoption of a logical sequence in the transition from a section to another.

    It is better to prioritize your CV as follows:

    • The most important at the top of the central column.
    • The Essential elements at the top of the right column.
    • Elements that appear only after scrolling the page must be secondary. However, the central column should be more important than the left one.

    It is always more enjoyable to read aesthetically a well-balanced CV. Try to harmonize the length of your columns.

  • Show your CV to others for review!

    Finally, asking other people's opinions is the best way to find out if your CV is effective. Even if they do not have a similar career path to yours, they will point out the strengths and the weaknesses of your CV. And especially, it allows raising the spelling mistakes which have always the worst effect!