View Full Version : How to craft a fantastic CV / Resume (with FREE CV review)

04-01-2017, 11:52 AM
Note: This article is brought to you by SuccessGoGo. The SuccessGoGo project is led by a team of ex-Ivy League and Oxbridge graduates who believe in the power of open information in revolutionising job-seeking and university application. We provide a FREE personalised review service for your University Application or Job Application. Visit us at www.SuccessGoGo.com to find out more

How to craft a fantastic CV / RESUME

The sole purpose of your CV is to get you to a face to face interview with your future boss. To do this, your future boss (or the HR person) needs to be able to determine, in less than a minute, whether you have the necessary skills and aptitude to perform in the role.

Unless you are applying for a job in the creative industry, a good CV should not be too unique or unorthodox. If you are applying to a bank, law firm, consulting firm, or MNC, adopt a conventional and well-structured layout where information is easily accessed.

1. Structure / Formatting
No matter how well written, your CV will not get a thorough reading the first time through. A CV typically only gets scanned for 25 seconds, which is more difficult if it is poorly organised or exceeds two pages. Ensure that you:

Use a logical and well-structured format;
Use wide margins, clean type and clear headings;
Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader's eye; and
Use bullets to call attention to important points (i.e. accomplishments).

Always remember the CV hotspot – the upper middle area of the first page is where the reader's eye will naturally fall, so make sure you include your most important information there.

Begin your CV with a short summary that immediately gets their attention, and accurately and powerfully describes you as a solution to their hiring needs. An example would be: "Working as an Associate in the M&A team at , specialising in public M&A transactions alongside 6 other professionals".

The general rule of thumb is that a CV should never be more than 2 pages.
In fact, for jobseekers with less than 5 years working experience, we would generally recommend that you keep to a 1 page CV. List only the most essential and relevant accomplishments, and you will thank us later.

PDF is recommended. Not every office computer can read your .docx or .pages file, and in many cases there may be formatting issues. Save yourself the hassle and save your CV as a PDF file.

2. Substantive Content
Once you have a good logical layout that the recruiter can quickly and easily understand, he/she will move on the most important question: Do you have the necessary skills and experience for this role?

Step 1 – Identity the skills the recruiter is looking for
The ideal candidate the recruiter is looking for is always set out in the job description. Ensure that you read it fully from start to finish, to discern the skills and qualities they are looking for. For a position as a corporate lawyer for example, this may be the necessary technical skills to succeed in corporate law, as well as softer skills such as attention to detail and the ability to work under pressure.

Step 2 – Compile a list of relevant experience
Next, you should first come up with a list of your recent working experience. If you do not have much prior working experience, it is fine to add internships, extracurricular activities, or volunteering as long as they are relevant.
Positions of responsibility or activities where you exercised initiative are helpful as well, such as if you ran your company's Facebook page or if you started an inter-department football competition that became a success.

Step 3 – Tailor your CV to the role
When you've established what the job entails and which of your experiences addresses each requirement, create a CV specifically for that role.
Remember, there is no such thing as a generic CV. Every CV you send to a potential employer should be tailored your skills and experience are uniquely suited for the specific job you are applying for. Don't ever be lazy and hope that a general CV will work. You do so at your own peril. You don't have to re-write the whole CV, just adapt the details so that it is relevant.

3. Language
When describing your work experience, avoid passive and non-descriptive verbs which indicate that you simply did what your superiors told you to. These would include words like “had,” “did,” “was,” and “am.”
Rather, switch them out with verbs that are dynamic and specific, which indicate you took the initiative and went beyond your jobscope. Good examples of these are words such as “organised,” “launched,” “initiated,” “created,” “designed,” or “oversaw.”

4. Editorial Mistakes
As basic as this may seem, we cannot reiterate this enough: there should NEVER be any punctuation, grammar, spelling or formatting issues on your CV. One mistake would reflect badly on your job application, a second mistake usually gets your application trashed.
Ensure that you read and reread your CV multiple times. Do also send your CV to SuccessGoGo for our review, and we will pick up on any embarrassing mistakes before you send it off to the recruiter.

A Parting Note
There is no need to put your references on your CV, recruiters will ask for them if required. If you do have to put something, simply state that "references are available upon request".

About SuccessGoGo
SuccessGoGo comprises a team of ex Ivy-league and Oxbridge graduates currently working in the largest investment banks, law firms, consulting firms and MNCs in the world. Regardless of the institution you are applying to, we will have somebody in place to review your application based on their past experience.

​Also, we are completely FREE. What do you have to lose?

After you submit your document to us, we will (1) perform a basic proof-read to check for editorial mistakes, and (2) send the document to our Panelist(s) (which will be someone in your prospective company) who will review the substantive content based on their prior experience.

For more information or to submit a document for confidential review, please visit us at www.SuccessGoGo.com