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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article26 September 2017European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

5 tips for streamlining your CV

CVs. Curriculum vitaes. Résumés. It doesn’t matter what you call them, they have one clear purpose: to promote you, your knowledge and your skills – and convince a recruiter that you’re worth interviewing.

5 tips for streamlining your CV

Make it short and sweet

Whether you’re applying for an apprenticeship, traineeship or job, your CV is likely to be up against a lot of competition. The last thing you want is for a busy recruiter to only flick through the first few pages of your carefully crafted eight-page CV or, worst of all, dismiss it entirely due to its length. Keep it short and to the point – two pages is generally accepted as the ideal length – and make sure that recruiters have easy access to all of the most important information about you and your experience.

Make it relevant

Ask yourself: what does this recruiter need to know? It’s probably different from the last recruiter, so move things around, take things out and only include what’s important. And remember that while the fact you like cooking and listening to music is important to you, unless you’re applying for a job in catering or the music industry, it’s probably not something the recruiter is interested in! Better to use that valuable space for something that will prove your suitability for the position on offer.

Be confident, but realistic

Promoting yourself can be a difficult balance – too much and you can come across as arrogant, with unrealistic achievements that might ring false to the recruiter. Too little and you risk fading into the background and being just another in a long line of CVs. Make sure that what you write promotes your skills and experience, but is also realistic and can be backed-up in an interview.

Focus on what you achieved, not just what you did

It can be easy to fall into the trap of simply listing your experience, without any real context or results. Experience is great, but it doesn’t tell the recruiter anything about what you’ve actually achieved or the contributions you’ve made. If you’ve been involved with securing new business for a company, what benefits did that bring? If you’ve taken part in a training course, what impact has that had? Including this kind of information shows a recruiter the added value that you can bring.

Tailor, tailor, tailor

As a recruiter, there’s nothing more off-putting than reading about how you’ve always wanted to work in the automotive industry… when you’re applying for a position at a pharmaceutical company. Make sure you address what the job advert is looking for and that you tailor your CV appropriately!

Good luck with streamlining your CV and if you’re looking for some great advice about how to write the perfect cover letter or how to ace an interview, we’ve got you covered!


Related links:

how to write the perfect cover letter

how to ace an interview


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