Do’s and Don’t of CV writing
Writing a CV can be quite a draining and sometimes nerve-wracking experience, often you’ll find yourself wondering where to start, or you might catch yourself doubting yourself every time you get started. However, your CV is one of the most important pieces of written work you’ll ever produce, as it will be your first port of communication with a potential employer. What is put into a CV varies depending on the culture/region that you are applying in.
- Photographs – yay or nay
In Asian cultures it is expected to put a professional photograph into your CV, this is very different in comparison to the West, where photographs on a CV are considered taboo. In the UK it is illegal to request a photo to be attached on to a CV. Whereas Chinese employers see a photograph as essential. The photo is most often passport sized. In the west, putting a photograph into your CV may cause employers to automatically reject your application. So, perhaps it would be a good idea to keep a professional photo handy, just in case.
- Keeping your CV to a reasonable length
A CV should always be kept at a reasonable length – however, this will also vary depending on culture. German’s wouldn’t take a short CV seriously; whereas the English prefer 2 pages – long enough to make it look like you’ve done SOMETHING but not so long that the employer loses interest. In America it’s all about summarising all your experiences onto 1 page. Chinese companies prefer your CV to be 2-3 pages long (longer if you have a lot of work experience). However, don’t leave blank spaces in your CV, this would look unprofessional.
When creating your CV, it is important to structure it in a way that appears attractive to the eye of the reader, ensure your resume is easy to look through. Recruiters usually don’t take more than 15 seconds to check if a candidate matches the job requirements. Remember that a CV is your very own marketing tool which is supposed to show off your skills and experience (think of a brochure of your professional life). Make sure you double check your spelling and grammar before sending your CV out, the grammar should always be consistent, and mistakes will never be tolerated, no matter what country you apply for a job.
- Sell Yourself
Make sure you add tangibility to your achievements, this makes what you have done come to life and seem more relatable. If you increased sales, let your new employer know by how much! If you managed a team, let your new employer know how many people were within that team! However, never lie on your CV as it is very easy for employers to double check details.