Writing the perfect CV

This article discusses the importance of writing the perfect CV. A Curriculum Vitae, or simply CV as used in abbreviated form, is a summary of an individual’s educational and professional history, usually prepared in order to apply for a job vacancy. First introduced by Leanardo Da Vinci in 1482, it has evolved from handwritten papers to the modern digital format also available through social media. (for more information about the history of the CV check out this article entitled, The 500-Year Evolution Of The Resume).

So, why is writing a good CV so important in job searching? In a nutshell a CV is your marketing tool to help you sell your skills, experience and qualifications. It helps the reader understand what you are capable of.  When an employer receives dozens of CV’s in response to a vacancy advert, it is important that you stand out from the crowd in order to secure yourself an interview. It is therefore important to understand that a CV should be ‘customised’ according to the vacancy being applied for. You do this by focusing on the important aspects of your skills and experiences that are relevant to the job vacancy you are applying for. Most importantly your CV should be informative and concise. Employers do not have the time to go through a long-winded CV, so a good CV is usually no longer than two pages long. (Research shows that just 8.8 seconds is spent studying any one person’s curriculum vitae). This is where the importance of writing the perfect CV comes in.

When writing your CV, it is therefore important to structure it in an easy to read manner split into different sections that will make it easy to follow. An employer needs to have a quick snapshot of your skills, experience, qualifications and personal details.

The main sections of a CV are described below:

Personal Information

These should normally include Name, Surname, full home address, date of birth (optional), telephone (it is important to include your mobile number so that you can easily be reached if called in for an interview) and email address.

Previous Employment

This section should list your previous jobs in reverse date order, that is last job first and concisely describe your responsibilities for each position. Make sure to highlight any key achievements, example “managed to increase sales by 30% as this gives great insight into your capabilities. Furthermore highlight skills learned through the previous posts, such as “working in a team”, “offered excellent service to customers”.

List your qualifications with the highest level first. So a university degree would be listed first, then A’levels followed by O’levels.

Personal skills
These include languages, computing skills (such as MS Office), communication and managerial skills and driving license.

Main points to consider when writing the perfect CV:

  • Use bullet points as much as possible
  • Try to write the CV across two pages no longer, no shorter
  • Make sure that you use proper grammar and spelling (use spell check)
  • Keep the style of the CV professional, no fancy colours or fonts
  • When sending your CV send it in PDF format
  • Target your CV to the particular position you are applying for, by focusing on relevant experiences
  • Do not repeat unnecessary information
  • Do not give reasons for leaving previous jobs

Being successful when applying for a job in Malta is no different than other countries, and following the above tips will help you in writing the perfect CV to improve your chances of being called for an interview.

If you need help in structuring your CV, you can use the Europass Curriculum Vitae creator to help you structure your CV and covering letter.

Using a Professional CV Writing Service is another option.

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