How to Write a Winning CV: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Sample)

Improve your career prospects with a winning CV. Learn the key tips and tricks for crafting a compelling and effective resume on our blog.

How to Write a Winning CV: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Sample)
Photo by Florian Klauer / Unsplash
To understand why it is important to have a good CV, please read this blog first "The Importance of Your Resume for Your Career".

A winning CV is key to landing an interview at your dream company. To create a great CV, start by understanding what a CV is and why you want the job you're applying for. Then, follow some key points, like keeping your CV concise and visually pleasing. Highlight your education, job experiences, certifications, and extra-curricular activities. Remember, honesty is key, and make sure the information you include is relevant to the position you're applying for. With these tips, you can create a CV that stands out and gets you noticed.

How to prepare a good CV?

Everyone has a different way of approaching the problem of the perfect CV. But there are some points that are worth following in order to get an effective and winning CV.

Why you should invest your time in preparing a winning CV?

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CVs have changed over the years so it is important for candidates to keep up with changes in HR culture.
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Concise and clear CV increases the chances of being offered an interview.
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The key difference between you and other candidates is the CV.

So it's not enough to just have a CV. You need something that really stands out. One of the best ways to do this is by using a CV format that is visually appealing and engaging for the recruiter or hiring manager.

How to start making a good CV?

The process of preparing a CV is not easy thing to do. There are many steps involved in the process of making a great CV.

The first step is to know what does a CV stand for? The answer is curriculum vitae. It means “course of life” in Latin, and it is a document that summarizes your educational and professional experience as well as what makes you stand out from others.

The second step is to figure out why you want to have a job at the company you apply for. If you have an answer, then it will be easy for you to prepare a perfect CV that will impress them and land an interview with them.

The process of preparing a CV is time-consuming process but it is worth the effort.

She just left for a meeting and her desk looked like a stock photo.
Photo by Sigmund / Unsplash

Some key points before drafting a good CV

For freshers with less than 5 years of job experience, the CV should be 1-page. At most stretches to 2 pages but it is not advisable.

  • Spaces are the key resources. So utilize it wisely
  • Every point should be concise and relevant. Over information can backfire
  • Avoid tabulated style CVs. They are distracting.
  • It should be visually pleasing to read. Avoid any loud colors and be consistent with fonts and colors.

Beginning of the CV

The CV should begin with your name, email, address, and LinkedIn. If you are posting your CV on any public platform, just put city and country as addresses. If you are sending a CV in an email, it is advisable to include the phone number.  A sample is as below:


Education

The next section should be education if you are fresher and have a few years of experience. The section should begin with your latest education. In general, it should include the name of your degree, major, session, CGPA, institution name, and country.

In order to make you stand out from other candidates, you need to highlight what else you have done besides your study. It shows you are not just a nerd and you gradually learn and get involved with other kinds of stuff. Highlight the important word from each of the points. It can be anything like scholarship, volunteering, clubbing, charity, etc. No matter how small it sounds, you should add it and highlight it by mentioning its worth. A sample is shown below:


Job Experiences

The next section will be your job experiences. it is very important to give attention to this section as it will help you to differentiate yourself from others. You have to sell yourself in this part by highlighting what you can do with evidence.

Here you have to remember the below points:

  • Don't just put your job description. It doesn't show what you can actually do.
  • Rather than put what you have done.
  • Quantify them and present them in a concise way.
  • Highlight the number.
  • Use action verbs to make it more appealing.

Sample:

What if you are a fresher?

  • Highlight any internship you have done.
  • Extra-curriculum activities that involved your active participation.
  • Your role in group projects and assignments.
  • Anything that can highlight your skills and participation.

Certifications

Recruiters like to see if you are learning and developing constantly or not. And the best way to show it is through certifications. It's very easy nowadays to learn something and earn a certificate. It can be anything of your interest. But also make sure it is actually relevant to the career you want to pursue. It adds a lot of value to your CV to become outstanding. Example


Project and Extra-curricular activities

This section creates value in your CV by showcasing your different traits. You can highlight what project you have worked on or led. Show what extra-curriculum activities you have done when you were studying or after finishing your study. It shows you are not confined to your comfort zone and you are proactive which is one of the desired characteristics sought by the recruiters.  Example:


These are the key areas usually a recruiter goes through before deciding if you are an ideal candidate or not. We have to remember they only spent 5-10 seconds to see and decide. Therefore, it is crucial you highlight the most important points and make sure you don't over-burden the CV with too much information. Your CV might look like this after finalizing everything:

Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

Again the important thing is honesty is the key. Whatever you put in the CV should be the truth about you and you will be asked in the interview from your CV. Therefore make sure you create a good story about the points you have put in and make it relevant to the position you are applying to.

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If you don't show no one will know and if you don't tell no one will know.

This is very quick writing just to help you out from my own experience. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you to create a winning CV to land an interview at your dream organization.

Keep an eye on the website. The next blog will be on how to crack an interview which will help you to land the job.  
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