Basic Rules of CV Writing
There is a big difference between spoken and written English. While you can speak without paying much attention to grammar and spelling rules, it is not the same with writing.
When writing you are conveying your thoughts to the reader via blocks of texts. Therefore, you must observe all writing rules so your reader can understand the message you are trying to pass across. The purpose of a CV is to grab the attention of employers telling them “Hey, I am the one you are looking for. Hire me!”
To avoid making numerous CV writing blunders, read this carefully.
What makes up a good sentence?
- Always start a sentence with a capital letter
- Do not write in all caps for large amounts of text. It’s distracting, hard to read and it looks like you’re shouting at people!
- End a sentence with a punctuation mark Eg. A full stop (.) or an exclamation mark (!) or a question mark (?)
- Use a comma before any conjunction that links two independent clauses. e.g and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.
- Use a comma after a word or sentence that cannot stand on its own
- Maintain finger spaces between each word. No too much white space
- Start with action verbs like “Delivered,” “Achieved,” “Handled,” etc.
- Keep sentences short
- Use bullet points for achievements so they are noticed.
- Break down information into bits rather than having large blocks of text.
- Maintain the use of plain English. Do not use ambiguous words
- Don’t rely only on spellcheckers, read through your CV.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do write a personal profile, career summary or objective
- Do get your tenses right. If you are employed write the responsibilities and accomplishments in your current job in the present tense. E.g. “Delivering”, “Handling”. If you are writing about a past job, use past tense. E.g. “Delivered, Handled”.
- Do show the most important achievement first, starting with the quantifiable accomplishment. For example, “Increased sales revenue by 60% .”
- Don’t use humor, slangs, or profanity on your CV. No matter how ‘casual’ the potential company’s culture is, your CV must portray professionalism.
- Don’t forget to list your qualifications