Christmas is an excellent time to work on your CV

Photo: the Italian voice

(Mood: Focused)

Christmas is the time to relax. But while you are lying on the sofa eating gingerbread cookies and drinking “julmust”, it is a great opportunity to work on your CV or LinkedIn. Perhaps your New Year’s resolution is finding an internship or a job. In order to get there you have to catch the recruiter’s interest and make them curious enough to call for that interview.

How to make a CV that cathes the recruiter’s interest?

The answer spells CUSTOMIZE. It’s ok to have a standard version, but be sure to read the ad carefully and customize your CV. Most likely there are certain keywords or skills that you want to highlight.

Keep it short. Maximum 2 pages is a “normal” CV. An academic CV may require more pages if you include an appendix with your publications and grants. Think airy instead of squeezing things together or decreasing the font to unreadable.

Mind the language. Make sure you use the terminology correctly, if you are not a native speaker have somebody proofread, and finally for spelling mistakes, again have a second person proofread. Use an “active” tense so it is clear that you have been driving your career forward instead of having been dependent on others or that it just happened by accident. “I grabbed the opportunity” instead of “I was offered”.

Avoid clichés. Back to CUSTOMIZE. Read the ad, use keywords and highlight your talents with real examples or real life situations.

What elements not to forget?

Contact details – obvious but apparently easy to forget.

A summary. Ever heard of the elevator pitch? This is your customized pitch in maximum 3 sentences. Make sure it matches the job ad…

Skills and experiences asked for but also, do not underestimate extracurricular assignments, awards, volunteering or other positions that you have held in clubs or associations. Engagement shows responsibility and drive.  Skills are also transferable and not always obvious to yourself. Tell your story in examples that proves that you have the skills they are asking for.

Photo or not? It varies in different countries so check carefully before you apply. In Sweden it is mostly appreciated but not at all necessary.

Font, colors, layout. Again, easy to read and consistent in structure is more important than fancy and colorful. But…there is always room for a personal touch and we did start off with the intension of making the recruiter curious… A small detail like an odd hobby or any other detail may in fact be what gets you to the interview and also the job in the end.

Do you need more help? Together with GoMonday we are currently offering online reviews of your CV, LinkedIn profiles or cover letter – free of charge!

Register on our webpage

It will be first come first serve. However, campaigns like this we arrange a few times a year so keep your eyes on KI Career Service Facebook.

Together with GoMonday we also offer an opportunity to register for a free online course in LinkedIn! Through Go Monday’s 4-Step Model you learn how to create a strong profile and how to use LinkedIn successfully. Read more and register here.

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