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How To Write A Good CV: 5 Expert Tips

Last updated on: February 26, 2024 15:47 IST

Any candidate who can present a compelling resume is quite likely to outshine others who are in line for the same job, says Raj Tanwar, HR head, Advantage Club, a global employee engagement platform.

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Tima Miroshnichenko/

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression so give it your best every time.

This advice has always inspired me, keeping both my 'innovation' and 'job search patience' quotient high.

With the competition fierce in the job market, any candidate who can present a compelling resume is quite likely to outshine others who are in line for the same job.

Crafting the perfect resume requires creativity. Here are some tips that can help:

1. Looks Matter But...

Good looks are like the cover of a book; it might tempt you to pick it up but it is the content inside that matters.

I am not saying aspects like resume format, font and layouts are not essential.

These features can only draw your potential employer's attention for the first few seconds. But, to maintain that interest, you must clearly indicate your journey in an organised manner.

There are three main ways of building your career journey -- chronological, functional and hybrid.

The chronological is best suited for people who have lots of professional experience. It is one of the best ways to list down your work experience, starting with the latest one first and showing career progression over time.

The functional style is best suited for freshers or those who have employment gaps. It highlights your skills and how they were used at the professional level.

The third is hybrid and, as the name suggests, is a mix of the chronological and functional formats; it is best suited for candidates who at the mid-level -- they have some work experience but their career is not extensive as yet. 

2. Unlocking Search Hacks

These days, most recruiters use a software called the Applicant Tracking System or the ATS for scanning and searching resumes.

This ATS tracks resumes based on the skills that are mentioned there.

In other words, you must carefully choose skills and describe them creatively so that you can get a higher ranking in the software's search.

Consider them as hyper or meta tags. Therefore, it is a must to mention all the skills that are relevant for the job you are applying for and weave them into a story that will tempt the recruiter to go through your resume once your name comes up in the search result.

3. Trivial Misses May Be Costly

Under work experience, the candidate must clearly mention the name of the previous organisations, followed by the job title (designation) and start and end dates.

Any education or training that you may have received beyond school and college, such as university level education or any additional course or certification pursued, should be included in the CV.

It may sound trivial but many candidates miss adding relevant contact information, like state or country codes, or do not respond when a prospective employer contacts them.

A few candidates even mention old e-mail IDs that they rarely have access to.

Remember, any information that is not up to date can make you lose a good opportunity.

4. The Art Of Storytelling

How you craft a compelling narrative around significant achievements and accolades is an art that can elevate a resume and help you to create a personal statement.

These moments -- whether they are prestigious awards, exceptional project successes or moments of leadership -- serve as beacons of one's professional journey.

Rather than merely listing them, infuse creativity by weaving them into a storytelling tapestry.

Describe the challenges you faced in your career, the strategies you employed and the impact it achieved.

Let these moments become the stars of your narrative, illuminating your path with brilliance and demonstrating not only what you've accomplished but also the qualities that set you apart -- determination, innovation and the ability to turn challenges into triumphs.

By creatively mentioning these achievements, you not only capture attention but also leave a lasting impression, inviting others to share in the significance of these moments that have shaped your career.

5. Don't Forget The Icing

Elevating your resume to its full potential involves adding includes references, industry publications, company-based validation, a link to your LinkedIn profile, personal Web sites and industry body associations.

These elements serve as powerful endorsements of your professional journey, lending credibility, showcasing expertise and demonstrating active involvement in your field.

By incorporating these components, you not only strengthen your resume but also present a comprehensive and compelling narrative of your career, underscoring your commitment to excellence and continuous growth while making it easily shareable for broader professional engagement.