When it comes to applying for a job, your CV is an important tool. It is the first thing a recruiter knows about you and it could make or break your application. If it is badly written, the chances are you will be dropped from the next step of the application process.

There are no fixed rules in writing a CV. However, it is important to keep it concise without compromising the details you think the recruiter needs to consider you for the position. Here are a few tips on how to keep the text informative and succinct.

How long should a CV be?

The length of a CV is not set in stone. It depends on the person’s work and educational background, as well as the skill set that is relevant to the position on offer. If you are a fresh graduate or someone with only a few years of work experience, keep your resume to two pages at most. A one-pager is better if it is well presented.

Highlight relevant information

Every job description needs specific skills and experience, so tailor your CV to satisfy these requirements. Make sure that the skillset and job experience you highlight is relevant to the vacant position.

To do this, research the position that interests you and the company offering the job. All job ads online have a short description of the position. Make sure the summary at the beginning of the CV matches the skillset, experience and motivation they want.

Keep your CV detailed yet concise

Make your CV readable. More often than not, recruiters quickly scan your CV, looking for key words, your previous job titles and the companies you have worked for. Make sure your previous job titles are easy to understand (some companies make their employee job titles ambiguous or elaborate). Provide two to three sentences about your position in the company to give an idea of your skillset.

You don’t need to detail all your work experience unless you feel they are very relevant to the job application. Any work experience from 10 years ago can be mentioned in passing. If the recruiter is interested in that experience, they will ask.

Boast your skills

Aside from your work and education background, have a section in your CV that will highlight other skills you have developed. For example, mention proficiency in any computer systems or software, especially if IT skills are part of the job description. Mention any outside hobbies to show enthusiasm and dedication, sports activities to demonstrate teamwork or competitiveness and other social activities that demonstrate leadership or social responsibility.

You may also include foreign languages. Nowadays, proficiency in other languages is an important asset in an employee because businesses are becoming more global. All schools teach languages, with international schools often having a competitive edge for teaching major languages spoken in their region.

Your CV is one of your greatest self-marketing tools. It demonstrates your employability, so when writing, take your time in explaining why you should be selected.

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