How to Create the Perfect CV to Land a Job

ORIGINAL ARTICLE BY ELENA SANTOS

In financial downturns, work is a scarce commodity. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have your CV in perfect condition to get the job of your dreams.

Though the most important aspect of finding a job is that your professional and academic record is good fit for the position, these days it’s just as important how you show this information. So, having a resume with good design and well-ordered relevant information is essential.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to design your CV from scratch; there are numerous apps and websites that make creating the perfect CV a quick and easy task. Here are some of the best, so choose what best suits you and you’ll be a little closer to getting that job you want.

Templates to create your CV with a word processor

Microsoft Word and even free PC programs like OpenOffice and FreeOffice include templates for making CVs. The problem is that they’re very basic, and if you apply with a CV using one of them, it’s possible that whoever sees it has already seen dozens of identical CVs. Not the best first impression.

The website Hloom has a huge collection of over 400 CV templates with all kinds of styles; from classic to modern, from minimalist to ornate, templates include features such as columns (to include more info on each page) or graphic elements that give them an original touch.

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The Office webpage is another good source for CV templates. From there, you can download dozens of files for free to create your CV. Also, the Office website includes other types of templates that may be very useful for work, such as several for creating business cards and other resources.

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The good thing about downloading a template is its compatibility with most word processors. Although the .docx format is originally from Microsoft Word, these days it’s readable by any text program as well as Google Drive, which you can use with your Google account.

Create your CV online without installing a thing

Years ago, we used specific apps for creating CVs that had to be downloaded, such as ResumeBuilder. Although they’re still useful, they’ve become a bit obsolete; these days the best programs for making CVs are found online and can be used without downloading anything.

One of them is CVmaker, a completely free app. You can create your CV from scratch, completely personalize it, choose between six designs and download it in DOC, PDF or HTML formats, without even having to make a user account. If you want to create, save and manage several of them, then you will need to create an account.

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Another interesting option for creating your CV online is Do You Buzz. Although it has paid versions, its free version may be ideal for your needs. The app not only guides you through the process of making your CV but also gives you tips so you don’t leave out any important details. Also, the resulting CV has a special format that makes it suitable to view on any screen (PC, mobile) and has options so you can publish it directly to your social networks.

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If you need more advice on how to create your CV (beyond the issue of design), one option is to consider LiveCareer. With this website, you can not only make your CV online but also ask for help from experts in Human Resources, read basic tips about CVs and how to prepare for interviews, and create your cover letter. You don’t have to write it from scratch; start with one of the examples, adapt it to your needs, and you’ll have it ready in no time.

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If you’re looking to create a CV with the standard European format, the so-called Europass Curriculum, go to their official website for a free CV generator that will help you create yours using their guidelines. From the same site, you can create other useful documents like cover letters to apply for jobs in the European Union.

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Finally, if you already know exactly what you should put in your CV and you’re only looking for a striking design, check out the CV templates on the website Canva. This online graphic editor offers great free templates for making colorful CVs.

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Create your CV on your phone

Don’t have time to edit your CV on a PC? Fortunately, there are Smartphone apps to make CVs. On Android, we’ve got the complete My Resume Builder, which lets you edit your CV with 4 steps and later export it as a PDF so you can send it to whoever you want.

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A similar app for iOS is Resume Star, which is very easy to use and offers various templates, in addition to the necessary option for exporting it as a PDF.

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Tips for improving your CV

It’s useless to use the best apps to make your CV if the content is badly organized, if it isn’t relevant to the person reading it, if the info is outdated or can’t even be viewed on certain systems. So here are some basic tips for improving your CV even more:

  • Personalize your CV for the job position: the same CV doesn’t work for two different job offers. For example, it’s not the same thing to apply to a translation job and a video editor job. For the first, maybe you should highlight the languages you speak, while for the second it’s important to emphasize your experience with software.
  • Put the most relevant info first: Human Resources staff review dozens, even hundreds of profiles like yours every day. They only have a few minutes for each one. So, it’s important not only to personalize your CV according to the position, but also place the most important information first, so you get their attention right at the outset.
  • Use standard fonts and formats: there’s nothing worse than a CV with a very overworked design, so it’s not visible because the person receiving it doesn’t have the same font, or the same program to properly open it. It’s best to stop experimenting and stick to traditional formats and designs.
  • Don’t limit yourself to numbers and facts: academic titles and years of experience are great, but they make your CV boring to read… and too similar to others’. Focus on your personal and professional achievements by explaining them in a friendly way, and try to give personality to your profile.
  • Revise and update often: never send a CV without reviewing it carefully beforehand. There’s nothing worse than a CV with spelling mistakes! And of course, update it when relevant.
  • Keep other sources of information in mind: these days the CV isn’t the only source of information that companies have when hiring. They also review your social media profiles, so make sure they don’t have the wrong image of you.

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Creating an original CV is possible… if you know how

Beyond a PDF or Word document, there are other ways of presenting your CV to the world. And some of them, besides summarizing your knowledge and experience, can make you stand out from the rest and capture the attention of the person reviewing profiles.

 

This article was originally published on March 27th 2017.

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