Creating Job Winning CV – The Ultimate Guide

According to, only 2% of the submitted CVs make it through the next round of the job hiring process.

This means crafting the best CV (Curriculum Vitae) is your priority in competing with other candidates and ensuring it passes the ATS systems. You must create an effective CV that represents your qualifications, skills, and experiences to potential employers.

In Short: A well-crafted CV can significantly enhance your chances of landing a job interview.

Let’s get started.

How to Create an Optimized CV

Keep your CV concise, aim for a length of one to two pages, focusing on the most relevant and recent information.

Tailor and customize your CV for each job application, emphasizing the skills and experiences most relevant to the specific role or job description.

Choose a clean, easy-to-read font and a professional layout. Use bullet points and headers to organize information effectively. Ensure that your CV is free from grammatical errors, typos, and inconsistencies. Review it multiple times and ask others to proofread it as well.

Find free ATS software and put your CV through it to check the score against the job role.

Be honest and truthful, don’t exaggerate or falsify information on your CV. Employers may verify the details, and dishonesty can have serious consequences.

Always save and send as a PDF to preserve formatting and ensure compatibility, before sending it to employers.

CV Template Skeleton Design

What to Include In Your Impressive CV

Here’s a guide to help you create an impressive CV:

Contact Information: Start your CV with your full name, phone number, email address, and optionally, your LinkedIn profile URL. Make sure these details are easily visible at the top of your CV.

Professional Summary/Objective: Write a concise summary or objective statement that highlights your career goals and provides a brief overview of your relevant skills and experiences. Tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for.

Work Experience: List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. Include the following details for each position:

  • Job title and company name
  • Dates of employment (month and year)
  • Description of your key responsibilities and achievements
  • Use action verbs and quantify your achievements with numbers, percentages, or specific results.

Education: Provide details of your educational background, including the degrees you have earned, the institutions you attended, and the dates of graduation. Include any relevant coursework or projects related to the job you’re applying for.

Skills: Create a dedicated section to showcase your relevant skills. Divide them into categories such as technical skills, soft skills, and language proficiencies. Include skills that are directly relevant to the job description and provide evidence of your proficiency.

Certifications and Training: Include any certifications, licenses, or additional training you have obtained. Mention the name of the certification, the issuing organization, and the date of completion.

Projects or Portfolio: If you have relevant projects or a portfolio, consider including a section that highlights them. Provide a brief description of each project and explain your role and contributions.

Achievements and Awards: Mention any notable achievements, awards, or honors you have received throughout your career. These can demonstrate your commitment, skills, and recognition within your field.

Professional Affiliations: If you are a member of professional organizations or associations related to your industry, list them here. It showcases your dedication and involvement within your professional community.

References: It’s generally not necessary to include references on your CV. Instead, you can state that references are available upon request. Make sure you have a list of professional references prepared and inform them in advance when a potential employer may contact them.

Remember, your CV serves as your professional introduction to potential employers. By following these guidelines and tailoring your CV to each application, you’ll increase your chances of getting noticed and securing job interviews. Good luck!

The Importance Of Your CV Design

The design of your CV is important because it contributes to the overall impression in front of potential employers.

A well-designed CV enhances readability, professionalism, and visual appeal, making it more likely to grab the attention of employers and stand out among other applicants.

Here are some considerations for the design of your CV:

  1. Format and Layout: Use a clean and organized layout that is easy to navigate. Divide your CV into sections with clear headings, and use bullet points to present information in a concise and scannable format. Maintain consistency in font styles and sizes throughout your CV.
  2. Font Choice: Select a professional and easy-to-read font, such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Avoid using overly decorative or stylized fonts that may distract or make your CV difficult to read.
  3. White Space: Leave sufficient white space between sections and text to create a visually balanced layout. This helps the reader focus on the content and prevents the CV from appearing cluttered.
  4. Visual Hierarchy: Use formatting techniques such as bolding, italics, and font sizes to create a visual hierarchy. Important headings or key information should be more prominent to draw attention.
  5. Consistency: Maintain consistency in formatting, such as bullet point style, indentation, and spacing. Consistent design elements create a cohesive and professional look.
  6. Use of Color: While a well-chosen color palette can enhance the visual appeal of your CV, it’s generally advisable to keep colors minimal and professional. Use colors sparingly to highlight headings or separate sections, but ensure that the overall design remains clean and readable.
  7. File Format: When sending your CV electronically, save it as a PDF to preserve the formatting and ensure compatibility across different devices and software. This prevents any unintended changes to the design when opened by the recipient.

Remember, the design of your CV should support and enhance the content, not overshadow it. A well-designed CV will make it easier for employers to quickly grasp your qualifications and skills. However, striking a balance between a visually appealing design and a professional, easy-to-read format is crucial.

What To Exclude From Your CV

When crafting your CV, it’s important to include relevant and impactful information that showcases your qualifications and experiences.

Equally important is knowing what to exclude from your CV to keep it focused on the role requirements you’re applying for.

Here are some elements you should generally exclude from your CV:

Personal Information: Avoid including personal details that are not relevant to the job application, such as your marital status, nationality, religion, or social security number. In most cases, employers are primarily interested in your professional qualifications and experiences.

Irrelevant Work Experience: While it’s important to highlight your work experience, exclude positions that are not relevant to the job you’re applying for. Focus on showcasing the roles that demonstrate skills and accomplishments directly related to the desired position.

Unrelated Hobbies and Interests: Unless your hobbies and interests are directly relevant to the job or demonstrate specific skills, it’s generally best to exclude them from your CV. Instead, use that space to focus on your professional achievements and qualifications.

Outdated or Irrelevant Skills: Exclude outdated or irrelevant skills that are no longer in demand or not directly applicable to the position you’re seeking. Keep the skills section focused on the most relevant and up-to-date skills that align with the job requirements.

Personal Pronouns and Objective Statements: Avoid using personal pronouns such as “I” or “me” in your CV. Also, objective statements that state what you want from the job are becoming less common. Instead, focus on providing a professional summary that highlights your key qualifications and career goals.

References: It’s generally not necessary to include references on your CV. Instead, you can state that references are available upon request. Save space and provide references separately when requested by potential employers.