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The ABCs of your CV

First impressions last. Follow these 5 steps for writing a perfect CV.

 The ABCs of your CV

1. Keep it short and sweet

Stick to two pages. This isn’t your memoir, recruiters don’t want to read your life story. So, you only need the most impressive parts of your education, experience and work history. More importantly – stick to the stuff that is relevant for the job you’re applying for. 

If this is your first CV, your employment history may not fill two pages. In that case, a solid one-page résumé is completely fine.

2. Stay on point

This is a job application so stick to the relevant information. You’ll need to include your name, home or postal address, phone number and email address.

But there is no need to include your date of birth, height, weight, marital status or parental status. Unless you’re applying to be a model, or an actor, or something similar, you should never include photos of yourself.

Here's a bonus tip: be conscious of your email address. John smith@email.com is more likely to hear back from a recruiter with positive news than someone named chickmagnet69@email.com.

3. Presentation is simple

The most appealing thing about your CV should be that it is easy to read.

Some fonts look great – but they can often be difficult to read. Choose simple fonts, and it should be between 10 and 12 point. You can use a slightly larger font for your name and section headings.

Your margins should be between 2 and 3cm on the left, right, top and bottom of the page. Avoid overly ornate borders that will distract from your achievements.

Be consistent. Whichever font, size and style you choose – make it the same all the way through your CV.

4. Don't proofread it! 

Well, do, but also get someone else to do it. You've written it so it's hard to see your mistakes. Ask someone else (someone who knows what they are doing) to proofread your CV.

Make sure everything - the spelling and punctuation - is correct and consistent. Check to see that everything is in the right tense and that it is all presented in the same style.

5. Send it ... to yourself first

When you're ready, save your CV as a PDF as well as a Word doc, attach them both to an email and send it to yourself. Then make sure that they can be download and opened without any problems.

If you have done all of these things, you are ready to apply. Good luck. Remember that the TAFE NSW Counselling and Career Development Service might be able to help you too.

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