CVs are important, personal documents that will always be a part of your career no matter where you go. Done well, they are your ticket to progressing through to a job interview, and will edge you one step closer to securing the job you’re looking for. Every candidate is capable of writing a winning CV, if you follow the right recommendations. Here are our top tips on finding and using our collection of free CV templates.
Here are our top tips on how to best use these CV templates.
When using a CV template, it’s vital to update the contact details to your own, and for them to be current and professional. Ensure these details are, in some form, on every page of your CV, so that if the pages are ever split, it’s clear they all refer to you and your work experience. Most important in this increasingly digital age are email addresses and mobile phone numbers, so double check these are correct and appropriate before submitting your CV.
A career objective should be a taste of what the rest of your CV has to offer. It should be bannered at the top and setting the tone for all the information and experience that’s to follow, it should broadly summarise the information in your CV, briefly mention your passion and ambition, and run no more than two lines. Remember, it is only a taster, the main course is, metaphorically, still to come.
This is really up to you, but should be informed by the industry you work in or are hoping to break into, and the conventions that it demands. For example, if you’re applying for a corporate finance or accounting job, keep your CV neat, logical and simple. Focus of the accuracy of the information and skills you’re listing. If you’re applying for a web developer or IT role, consider showing employers your capability with specific systems and aptitude for good design by customising and personalising your CV template.
No matter what industry you’re in or what CV template you choose to use, we highly recommend keeping yours between two and three pages. In the same way that your cover letter is the appetiser to your CV, and your career objective is a taster for the bulk of your resume, you can similarly consider your CV the entrée to securing a job interview. To help you keep your CV to the ideal length, include only the most recent or relevant roles. Three or four roles should provide sufficient opportunity for you to show a prospective employer that you have the technical skills, soft skills, industry experience and initiative required to succeed in the role.
Use job or role titles that are understood at an industry level, and avoid role-specific terminology or jargon. Most importantly, make them professional. Opt for Web Developer instead of “Innovation Sherpa”, Customer Service Officer in the place of “Disseminator of Critical Information”, and most definitely choose to use Senior Executive over “Decision-Making Rockstar”. Your past and current titles gives employers, at a glance, a sense of the professional responsibilities and duties you were tasked with in the various roles you’ve had, so make them easy to read and use labels that are both recognisable and credible.
Nominating the right keywords in your CV is about more than just showing an employer you understand the language and rhetoric of a certain role type or industry. It also proves you’ve thoroughly read the role description and application documents, and know what is required of you. Whether your application is being read by a member of HR, is parsed by an applicant tracking system, or both; using enough keywords, but not too much, will play a critical role in progressing you to the interview stage.
Whatever position you hold (or want to hold!), CV templates provide guidance on how best to present your experience, skills and passions to new employers. The best part? How you decide to use our CV samples is up to you! Some will use the templates just as they are, customised easily with a candidate’s relevant details and experience. Others will use them as a source of inspiration, motivated to create a truly unique and personalised document. However you choose to use our sample CVs, know that they can assist you on your way to a perfect resume and more importantly, that perfect job.
Take a look at our CV guide page for more advice on how to write a CV.