CV (alias curriculum vitae) plays a crucial role in HR decision-making. Therefore, it is not advisable to underestimate its form. Whether you are creating a structured CV for the first time or just want to update your existing one, we will advise you on what to look out for.

A professional CV is not just a document. If you make a recruiter interested, it can become a ticket to a new job for you, or sink you in the eyes of a HR professional, despite your qualities. How to ensure that your CV won’t be thrown straight into the bin?

1. Pick the right picture

Although photography is not a mandatory part of a professional CV, HR staff agree that a CV with a portrait of the candidate is welcome. The photo helps them to associate the candidate’s work experience with a specific face, which creates a more comprehensive picture of the candidate. Therefore, a correctly selected photo can be a competitive advantage for you.

What should the photo look like? Even if it suits you best, you’d better forget about “selfies” or holiday moments. The biography includes a classic portrait that shows you from the shoulders up. Unlike on a passport, you can smile in a portrait in a CV, because a laughing face always looks more welcoming than a solemn one.

2. Think twice, write once

If you have a longer working career, you may be wondering how to fit all the items into your CV. If you want to follow the rules that the right resume should fit on one page, consider what information is essential. Does the HR really need to know where you went to primary school? Or that you worked as a drinks attendant at the swimming pool years ago in the summer? Probably not.

Or are you solving the opposite problem – are you at the start of your career and your CV is empty? Try to dazzle the HR specialist with, for example, passed exams, courses or workshops, or skillfully expand the section dedicated to your skills. If you have recently left school, it is logical that you do not have years of experience behind you, which will certainly be understood by a representative of the HR department of the company where you would like to work.

3. Be creative

A CV can take the form of a simple document created in Word or a more sophisticated look. But you don’t need a deep knowledge of Photoshop or other graphics programs to embellish your resume at all. If you are undemanding, all you have to do is find one of the editable templates on the Internet, into which you can simply “pour” the necessary information. Connoisseurs will appreciate a tailor-made design that reflects their personality.

Of course, choose the look of your CV with feeling and with regard to what professional area you are working in. While in banking, for example, it’s a good idea to choose a more moderate design, in marketing or other less formal industries, you can relax a little. Even so, it is true that the attractive graphic design of the CV should not overwhelm the information contained in it.

4. Don’t to convert your doc into PDF

If you are not a fan of an online CV where you just send a link, always convert your CV into PDF. Why? People work with different versions of office packages, so sometimes the layout or text appears distorted. Once you’ve worked on your CV jewelry, don’t risk being displayed in a scattered format to your HR specialist. When you save a text document in PDF format, you make sure that it appears on each device as you intended.

If you send other files with your CV, check their size. The attachment should not exceed 5 MB. The reason is simple – corporate e-mail boxes sometimes have a set limit for the size of incoming mail, so with too large an attachment, you run the risk that your message will get stuck in virtual space and never reach the recipient. If you want to send something extra, upload the documents to one of the online data stores, such as WeTransfer.com.

5. Get rid of typos and errors

When a person concentrates on one activity for a long time, they tend to lose focus and distance from their work. This also applies to CV creation. Before submitting your CV, make sure that there is no mistakes or typos left. Or even better – have the creation checked by someone close to you or a friend who has always been number one from dictations.

If you want to be sure that your CV looks the way it should in 2020, you should entrust it to a career advisor, from whom you will find out where your reserves are. And that’s not all, they will also help you prepare for the interview or advise you on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile. If self-presentation is not one of your strongest points, consulting with someone who has insight into it and you will definitely pay off.