Why it pays to have a good CV

Last Updated on Thursday, 9 September, 2021 at 1:02 pm by Andre Camilleri

Aimee Chetcuti is the founder of BrandU, a people development start-up dedicated to helping young professionals land their dream job faster.

Putting together a CV isn’t an enjoyable task. It is, without a doubt, a stressful and exhausting task which, more often than not, leaves you questioning everything down to the letter. And within reason! CVs are typically your only opportunity to give a memorable first impression to your potential recruiter.

On the other hand, recruiters receive an average of 250 CVs for one single vacancy. For job seekers, this statistic might make job-hunting even more daunting than it already is. So, does it pay to have a good CV? Most definitely! Because if you are one out of 250 applicants, it will have to be a great CV that ticks all the boxes for it to stand out and for you to make it to the filtered pile.

First impressions count

Your CV is the first chance you get to make a good impression on a potential employer – not your only chance but by far the most important as a high-quality CV will considerably boost your likelihood of getting to the first round of interviews. How often have you thought, “If only I had the chance to meet with the employer, I could have convinced him that I could be the right person for the job!” Your first and only chance is to produce an impressive resume, one that will get regarded and get you through the door.

So what qualifies as a good CV?

Here is a fun fact for you: Curriculum Vitae is Latin for “the story of (your) life”. And while most recruiters I know are happy to sit down for a coffee to hear about the intricacies of your life, business is business, and with little to no time to spare and a growing pile of applicants to go through, recruiters take approximately six seconds to go through your CV. That’s all; six seconds to make it or break it.

In this article, Chetcuti, founder of BrandU, shares six tips for writing a simple and effective CV.

  • Make your CV too long and recruiters won’t make it past the second page. Make it too short and they have nothing to go on. Balance is key. Make sure you are clear, concise and accurate and use a confident tone and positive language to communicate your personality.
  • Refrain from writing down full job descriptions; instead, outline how you have made a difference at your place of work. Think results and quantify the impact on the business’s bottom line.
  • Make it personal! Avoid whizzing the same CV out to a random list of employers to save time. Instead, research which organisations and vacancies make sense to you and use the relevant job adverts to work out precisely what skills you should point out to each organisation.
  • Make it look good! We live in a world where “image is everything”. The same rule applies to your CV. Use bullet points and keep sentences short. Make the layout easy on the eye and steer away from bright colours and over the top fonts.
  • Also, make sure to tailor it to the job you are applying for. Emphasise the skills, qualifications and experiences most relevant to the job.
  • Lastly, make sure it’s clean, correct and mistake-free. One spelling mistake in your CV or cover letter might prove fatal. So proofread carefully.

A CV can say a lot about you, but a good CV conveys one truth: that you might be a great candidate for the role and that you are worth meeting for an interview. Consider your CV not as a liability but as a means to raise your game, profile, confidence, employability, and ultimately, your salary, that’s why it pays to have a good CV.

Aimee Chetcuti is the founder of BrandU, a people development start-up dedicated to helping young professionals land their dream job faster. With her eight years of experience in youth development and Human Resources, Aimee offers insightful advice for students and young professionals on CV writing, interviewing, networking and career-building.

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