Your CV is your key marketing document when applying for jobs, so ensuring it's perfectly polished is crucial. You may have gone through many how to guides on the internet and it is important to research just what your niche in the market wants CVs to look like and how you can further fine-tune it to suit specific requirements. Here are some fundamentals that you need to check your CV against.

  1. Be honest and provide evidence -  Never lie or exaggerate on your CV, but back up any claims with specific examples that demonstrate your skills, qualifications and experience.
  2. Tailor it to the role -  Before you start writing, identify the key criteria for the jobs you're applying for and ensure your CV showcases how you fit it.
  3. Keep it professional  - Avoid anything too personal like political affiliations, marital status or humour. Let your professional achievements do the talking.
  4. Use clear, concise writing -  Stick to simple language, short punchy sentences and phrases starting with verbs.
  5. Focus on recent, relevant experience - Don't list every job - concentrate on your current/recent positions and responsibilities relevant to the role.
  6. Quantify your achievements  - Don't just state duties - use facts, figures and examples to demonstrate the impacts you made.
  7. Pay attention to formatting  - Keep consistent spacing, readable fonts, clear headings and a neat organised layout. Use formatting like bold and italics sparingly.
  8. Check thoroughly for errors  - Spelling and grammar mistakes are unacceptable. Proofread very carefully yourself and get someone else to check too.
  9. Print professionally  - Use good quality white A4 paper and an appropriate font size of 11 or 12. Include your name in the footer.
  10. Be selective with what you include  - Leave out negatives like low grades, reasons for leaving jobs, and unnecessary personal details like height and weight.

Your perfectly crafted CV is what will get your foot in the door, so take the time to get it right. With a focused, achievements-based, neatly presented document, you'll be putting your best self forward. From then on, let your personality do the talking. Good luck!

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