The art of writing an effective CV is well worth mastering; it's the first step towards your perfect role. While its specifics will vary according to the job and your experience, there are ten simple rules you can follow to make sure your CV gives you the best chance of securing an interview.
The first thing your potential employer will notice, before having read any text, is your CV's presentation. Ensure it’s attractive, clear and well-structured. Experiment with different fonts to find one that is both easy to read and stands out from the norm.
2. Be industry-appropriate
Use your CV as a platform to illustrate your skills. If you are in a creative profession treat it as a miniature portfolio, displaying your signature style. Do be careful to balance visual detail with text, and note that for professions such as real estate or finance, imagery will not be as suitable.
3. Play with space
The reader's eye will automatically be drawn to the top of the page, towards the centre, so be sure to position your most impressive points there. Aim to keep your CV to one page so the reader can easily scan through – more than two pages can be off-putting.
4. Tailor your experience
Rather than send the same CV with every application, edit it for each one so it covers the requirements detailed in the specific job description. Similarly, remove any experience that isn't relevant to the role – your CV should make the most of the space available.
5. Quantify achievements
Try to avoid simply listing your responsibilities, instead using evidence to demonstrate exactly how you can contribute. This gives the reader a tangible sense of your expertise – numbers are particularly useful for this.
6. Break it down
Hold your potential employer's attention by breaking down information for them, using bullet points, subheadings and a logical layout. Keep it as simple as possible, and always put your most recent experience first.
7. List your skills
Remember to mention any niche abilities, as these will often set you apart from the competition. They may include things like speaking foreign languages and having specialist computer skills; highlight these unique capabilities in their own section.
8. Include your interests
Although this section should be brief, it's another way to prove you have the necessary qualities to excel in the role. Your interests might, for example, indicate you have experience in leadership roles, or have needed to communicate effectively with a team. Unusual hobbies can also help the reader remember you.
9. Focus on the positives
When detailing your prior employment, always find something positive to say about it. Avoid discussing difficult coworkers or experiences, unless you created a positive action from those scenarios.
This is essential to show your potential employer that you are a detail-orientated individual, and that you are taking the opportunity on offer seriously. If possible, ask a friend or family member to do this for you, as they might find errors you have missed. Ensure every fact is correct to avoid uncomfortable moments at the interview.
If you are considering pursuing an exciting career in real estate, and are interested in joining our dedicated team of industry experts, visit the Engel & Völkers’ career site.