How to write a snappy CV

A CV is your personal branding document – it tells an employer who you are, what you have accomplished and is an indication of what they can expect from you.

Your CV only has a six-second window to get noticed.

Yes, that is how long an employer will take to scan your CV before giving your CV a good read or putting your CV down in the ‘nah’ pile – six seconds. So make sure you grab their attention from the get go!

Seven CV writing tips to help you get ahead of the pack

We put together seven important things to keep in mind when you compile your CV.

Download the Absolute IT
CV Template here

Tip 1: Keep it short

Keep your CV brief and relevant. A CV should be two to three pages long or else it can quickly turn into a short novel, and a graduate CV should be no longer than two pages. This is a tool to highlight that you have the abilities to do the job and you should focus on your skills and professional accomplishments relevant to the position you want.

Tip 2: Tailor your CV for the position

You should take the time to tailor your CV for every role you apply for. Read the advert online, read the job description if you have one, and research the company to ensure you can tailor it for the role. Make sure that the key facts on your CV show that you meet the minimum requirements and have the right skills for the job.

Tip 3: Keep it real

It is very important to tailor your CV towards the job you want, but you have to be honest about your skills and experience. Don’t oversell yourself, the person reviewing your CV will be able to spot flaws and inconsistencies. And expect to be tested on your skills in an interview.

Tip 4: Keep it professional

Keep your email address professional as you want to create the right impression. If you have a funny email address such as partygirrrl20@ or pimpdaddy@ it would be a good decision to rather create a formal email address just for the job hunting process.

Tip 5: Check for errors

This is a no-brainer. There are no excuses for poor spelling and grammar in a CV, and it will prevent you from getting a job.  Take your time, ask a friend to proofread it and get triple check to make sure you get it right.

Tip 6: Formatting matters

Your CV should have a clear and logical structure, it shouldn’t have multiple fonts or spelling mistakes. With only six seconds on average, you need to capture the reader’s attention and have well laid out CV with relevant key words and technical skills easy to spot.

Tip 7: Get it in quickly

Apply for a position early and don’t wait until the closing date to get it in. This is especially true for entry-level roles as companies often get inundated with CVs and may find several suitable candidates to interview after reviewing the first 10 – 20 CVs. If your CV is number 99 to arrive out of a 100, it may not even get read.

Finished your CV? Great! Now you can: