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Vincent McNeil

Welcome to our career advice blog. Experienced experts share career, management and job seeker tips as well as company culture and organizational psychology.

The best way to write a CV

Posted by Vincent McNeil on April 15 2017, 12:39pm

The best way to write a CV involves a little bit more thinking and a smarter way of doing things. It involves a few counter intuitive aspects. They are counter intuitive because most of us don't exercise them each day.

The following aspects help you find the best way to write a CV:

1: Think from the recruiter's perspective

Put your ego's desires aside and focus on what the other person really wants.

2: Keep it simple

Focus on the complexity and you will get more bloat and complexity. Keep it simple. Start with the core ideas, with the things that matter. Add from there only the things that are absolutely necessary.

3: You impress by not trying to impress

You don't sound impressive by boasting about it. You are impressive when you act impressively. Don't try to come up with the perfect phrase or word. Write the entire CV in rough for the first time. Don't worry about the grammar or spell checking.

Next, simply improve each paragraph one by one. Think about how it integrates with the entire composition. Improve all the parts one by one, over and over again. Do it until it feels right and until it the text is grammatically correct.

4: Leave out anything irrelevant or unnecessary

If something is irrelevant then you should leave it out. Antoine de Saint-Exupery said: "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Stick only with the essentials.

Here's the structure for the best way to write a CV:

1: Name

This section comes right at the top of your first page, in the upper left corner. Add your full name, physical address, email and phone number.

2: Profile


your main psychological traits

the most important work skills you have

your career goal

3: Work experience

List all the companies you worked for, what you did there, what you've learned in the process and the dates between when you worked.

4: Education

List all the schools and courses you attended. For each one write:

its name and profile

what you've learned

your marks, only if they are good

the dates when you started and when you finished that particular school period

5: Language skills

Mention all the languages you know. Describe your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced) for each one of them.

6: Computer skills

Clearly and concisely describe what you know to do with your computer. Your future boss cares if you understand how to:

send, read and receive email

open and edit Microsoft Office documents

browse the Internet

understand the basics of Windows, Linux or Mac

7: Hobbies

List your most important hobbies. The more unusual they are, the better.

8: Referees

Mention 2 or 3 people. They should be important people in their fields. Ideally, they should have a reputation built upon years of work or upon high accomplishments. They also need to know you and your work. Mention their full name, title and contact information. Also contact them personally. Tell them that they may be contacted by your future boss.

The best way to write a CV is always based on the recruiter's interpretation. So, you'll never know if you wrote the best CV or not.

The best to measure the results is by counting the number of interview invitations you receive.

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