Here’s a quick list on what you need to have on your CV, and what you really should be avoding. If you can tick off everything below, you should be good to go!
Top 11 DO’S:
- DO customize. Tailor your resume, detailing your work and extracurricular experiences that are most applicable to the job and industry you are targeting.
- DO be concise. Use brief, succinct statements and keep your resume to one page.
- DO keep font size to 10, 11, or 12 points and set margins to no less than 0.5 inch on all sides.
- DO pay attention to verb tense! Use past tense when describing past positions and present tense for your current positions.
- DO be consistent with punctuation.
- Include multiple titles and responsibilities if you had multiple roles at one organization.
- DO use the phone number where an employer can reach you to set up an interview. Make sure your voice mail greeting is professional!
- DO include an e-mail address. Do make sure that the address is professional (for instance, no "firstname.lastname@example.org")!
- DO include a GPA of “Good” or better (the question of whether to include your GPA is ultimately up to you.)
- DO include a relevant subject line in your e-mails to employers, such as "Technical Writer Position #4420.“
- DO remember aesthetics — print all documents on high quality resume paper and use a laser printer.
Top 6 DON’TS:
- DON’T Lie, exaggerate, or include something on your CV that you would not feel comfortable discussing in an interview.
- DON’T include an "Objective" on your resume, unless you can be specific about the position to which you are applying (ordinarily, you omit it and state your objective in your cover letter).
- DON’T use slang and don’t use acronyms without explaining what they mean (e.g. GUSA, MSB, etc.).
- DON’T rely on spell-check. Proofread your CV carefully and have someone else proofread it as well. Remember, spell-check will not necessarily tell you if you've spelled the company name incorrectly.
- DON’T use the word "I" or other first-person pronouns.
- DON’T use dark or speckled paper that can be difficult to read once photocopied or faxed.
By Ghada Kandil
Content Strategist at Fikrbayan