Strong CVs and Weak CVs

A CV or resume [also called vita, curriculum vitae (in Latin: description of life), biodata, and Europass (in European Union countries)] is a document, and it must always be treated as a document. 

There are certain rules of designing strong and successful CVs. And there are reasons why many CVs are rejected.

Strong CVs

Strong CVs have the following essential features:

  • original style and design
  • full lists of data
  • updated for the purpose of a particular job
  • contain essential skills, achievements, accomplishments, and roles
  • accomplishments-oriented and have action verbs such as 'made', 'did',  'completed', 'carried out',  ‘designed’,  'implemented', ‘created’, ‘restructured’, 'produced', 'changed', 'improved', 'wrote', 'compiled', 'finished', 'edited', 'proofread', 'researched', 'investigated', 'taught', 'lectured', 'contacted', 'sold', 'cooked', 'increased', 'built', 'generated', 'worked', 'cleaned', 'supervised', etc.

Preparing a good quality electronic version of your CV is essential.  You can either email your CV directly to employers or apply online by posting your CV on Internet job boards. 

When you send a document as an attachment from your computer to someone else's computer, it sometimes does not look the same on the other person's computer as it did on yours. Sometimes it has more pages on the other computer; sometimes page 2 starts at the bottom of page 1 or the fonts and colors are different. To guarantee good quality of printing, you should prepare a PDF version of your CV. 

Weak CVs

Do you know that most CVs are rejected?

Here are the basic reasons why most CVs are rejected:

  • bad first impression
  • poor structure and layout
  • poorly organized (difficult to read and understand)
  • lack of uniformity
  • repetition of information
  • with names and addresses of referees
  • lack of information
  • no accomplishments or achievements
  • does not ‘sell’ you well (why they should employ you)
  • computer skills are on the last page
  • too much experience is mentioned
  • many general words masking your personality
  • grammar mistakes.

Learn how to write a strong CV