Perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect CV, but companies and recruitment agencies alike have certain expectations when receiving a CV. As recruiters, we’ve seen thousands of CV’s throughout our experience. From rather plain layouts and two-liners to board games and flower power themes; when we think we’ve seen them all there’s always a new one that catches our eye, whether it’s good or bad.
1. Do a lot of Research
Research is key to being able to create a perfect CV for an opportunity. Indeed, rules are different from one country to another so it is incredibly important to always check if your CV corresponds to what is expected. For example, in France, a CV should never be more than one page and in the UK you must never add a photo or you will never be considered. Always make sure that your CV meets the guidelines of the country you wish to work in.
Research does not stop at the country’s culture but also concerns industries. Recruiters do not expect the same type of CV coming from a Finance major or a marketing one. Finance CVs tend to be very strict, black and white only and extremely simple whereas a marketing CV has to showcase the applicant’s creativity, their capacity to match colours or think of nice designs.
The last thing you could research before starting the creation of your CV is the CVs of employees who have been hired by the company you want to apply to. Sometimes, employees, have them posted on their LinkedIn profiles. Doing so will help you see what kind of candidate they are looking for and the presentation they expect. Try to reproduce how they present their job experience for example so you can have a perfect CV for their company specifically.
2. Make sure you share all the right information
Ensure that you have all the necessary information written down on your CV. You want to make sure that you facilitate the work of the recruiter to ensure that your profile goes to the next step. Avoid as much as possible forgetting important details that require the recruiter to contact you. Your CV is your only way to “prove yourself” at the beginning of the process make sure it is pristine. Make sure you hand in the perfect CV right away. The way you present your CV, write it and fill it showcases your personality, your sense of organization and your way of thinking.
The information to not forget is the following:
- The town you live in, it does not have to be the exact address
- Language proficiency following the CEFR Framework
- Work Permit and its validity duration
- Ways to contact you
- Description of the task you had
Information you should never add:
- Bank account
- ID Card number
- Passport number
3. Use the right categories
The idea is for the recruiter to be able to see everything you are and have done in seconds. To have a perfect CV, we would advise you to divide it into two columns. The first one should be organized in the following way :
- A short motivational paragraph
- Language proficiency
In the second column, you should have:
- Professional experience
4. Use a template to simplify the creation of your CV
If you are having trouble creating a CV by yourself, you can use CV templates to ensure having a perfect CV. Many websites offer templates for free the most well-known are the following: canva, novoresume, goodCV, …
Just be careful as often templates come with bar graphs, star rating systems, etc for skills and language proficiency. We highly suggest you avoid them as they aren’t appreciated by recruiters.
Your language skills should only be represented by the official European language proficiency system, the CEFR Framework.
As for your competencies, you should only write them if you master them 100% so it doesn’t make sense to present them through ratings or Graphs. You take the risk of getting asked rather uncomfortable questions such as “Why are your communication skills at 60%? What are the missing 40% ?”
5. Do not forget to mention your languages
If you are applying through Abroad Experience International recruitment agency, it means that you have special language skills. It is very important to mention them along with your level of proficiency in every one of them. Indeed, our clients choose us especially to find skilled multilingual job seekers, it is therefore important that your idioms are noticeable in one glance.
6. Use the right job experience presentation
When it comes to presenting your job experiences they are rules that must be followed and are true internationally. They are mandatory if you wish to have a perfect CV.
Your work experiences should always be presented from the most recent to the oldest (anti-chronologically). It is important that the recruiter is able to see as quickly as possible if your last experience corresponds to the job you occupied.
You cannot only write your job title and the company, you have to precise your main missions through bullet points. Job titles are not always linked to specific missions so it is important to give an overview of what you actually did. For example, Project Manager can have a thousand meanings so it is important to be precise about the mission you actually had. Not describing your missions may result in your CV being rejected.
Another important piece of information to share is the dates and duration of each of your job so your recruiter may see your loyalty to brands as well as how experienced you actually are.
7. Personalize your CV to the company you are applying for
We do realize that it is not always realistic to do so when you are searching for a job. You usually are applying to a lot of different jobs but if one happens to particularly catch your eye do not hesitate to go the extra mile. Designing a perfect CV for them will definitely increase your chance of being selected.
It can be as simple as changing your CV colours to match the brand’s to a creative wink to their products. For example, implementing little lego icons if you apply for the Lego company.
8. Use the job Keywords available on LinkedIn
A great tip we can give you to design your perfect CV, is to check the skills wanted by companies on LinkedIn, they are quite easy to find. If you see skills that you do have, do not hesitate to add them to your CV so it corresponds to what they are looking for.
Step 1: go on a job offer you are interested in
Step 2: Click on “skills“
Step 3: A list of skills will appear
Step 4: Add all the skills you have to your profile thanks to the add buttons.
9. Write a good motivational paragraph
Usually named profile and objectives, it is used to give the recruiter a quick overview of what you are looking for and your background.
Do not write a long text it should be 3 to 4 sentences max. Use it to share your latest accomplishment, the opportunity you wish for and your main qualities.
EX: “Having obtained my diploma in Banking Finance Engineering at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, I am looking for a job in equity. With a background in Banking, I am precise, efficient and organized.”
10. Perfect CV tips specific to the Netherlands
Finally, if you are looking for rules specific to the Netherlands they aren’t any in terms of format, picture or categories. But make sure it matches the Dutch culture. Your CV should be:
- Direct: As you may have noticed by now Dutch people do not beat around the bush, they want the information exactly as they are. You do not need to sugarcoat any of them. Just be honest and truthful.
- Simple: You do not need to create an intricate CV presentation. Just make sure that it looks organized, readable and that categories are easily identifiable.
- No exaggerating: Having a perfect CV does not mean that you have to be Hercules. It is incredibly important that you do not lie on your CV. When you will be interviewed, anything you have written is something you can be asked about. Everything you write should be linked to an example of something you have actually done. For example here, the title of manager goes to a person who led a team so avoid that title if you did not, write that you were a coordinator instead.
Abroad Experience International Recruitment wishes you the best of luck to create your perfect CV, do not hesitate to send it to us!