There is countless good advice and tips for CV writing online, but a CV can almost never be perfect. As long as you follow CV rules about structure and layout and create a targeted CV for a company, you have more chances of getting the job than those who send standard CVs. To further optimize your CV, you can follow our 10 tips for CV writing and get good advice based on the statements of Danish HR managers and employers in the Recruitment Analysis 2022. Did you know, for example, that over half of job seekers forget to describe the results of their previous jobs on their CV? That CVs often lack examples of completed tasks? And that 45 per cent of hiring managers complain about resume layouts? Craft a strong resume that any employer will enjoy reading, and get resume writing help with these 10 great resume tips.
1. Remember the CV’s most important elements
Your CV must contain your personal information, education , work experience , competences, language and IT skills , courses and certificates , voluntary jobs and leisure interests , as well as a notice that references can be forwarded on request.
Other and non-obligatory elements of the CV are a CV title , a summary , a CV photo and links to your social media or websites.
Information that is not recommended to write in a CV is your gender , nationality , marital status , details of your private life and other people’s contact information (references).
2. Match your CV with the job posting
Review your gross CV and find the most relevant jobs in relation to the position you are applying for. Target your CV by focusing its content on the skills that the employer mentions in the job posting. Adapt your choice of words to that of the employer. It may be that you have had a similar position that was called something completely different, or that you wear several hats at your current job. Call your position what your employer calls it , so you can understand each other.
3. Recycle the employer’s words
Many people think that it is a bad idea to reuse the employer’s words and expressions from the job advertisement in your CV. It seems copy and pasted or unoriginal. But that’s a mistaken belief, and a good resume tip here is that you should use the same words that appear in the job ads . Many companies use recruitment systems with CV databases where you can enter specific keywords and find the CVs that contain them. Often, an employer will search for the same words that the person has written in their job advertisement. If those keywords are in your resume, then the recruiting software will show it. If you have not included those words, your CV will not be shown to the employer. Having said that, we come to the next point.
4. Make your CV personal – present skills in a context
A good piece of advice on your CV is that you both reuse the employer’s words from the job advertisement and write your own sentences, which make your CV personal . Don’t write clichés and don’t list your skills without giving examples of how they manifest in your work. Describe how you create value for companies, their customers and your colleagues. Feel free to put each competence in a context in the form of concrete examples of work tasks where the competences came into play or were developed.
5. Describe your work results
52 per cent of Danish recruiters miss work results from previous jobs in CVs. The good advice here is that you should make concise descriptions of your previous positions with not only your areas of responsibility and skills that you have developed, but with the results you have created. Feel free to use numbers in your descriptions, and give examples with concrete results .
6. Give examples of completed tasks
46 per cent of employers lack examples of completed work tasks in candidates’ CVs. Use this knowledge as good advice that your job descriptions should include overall tasks, specific examples of tasks, results (preferably stated as numbers) and the skills that came into play.
7. Create a clear layout
The clear layout of the CV is cited as the third biggest shortcoming in Danish CVs. The good advice here is that you take care with creative CVs and prepare a CV according to a familiar structure . It can be a reverse-chronological structure or a competence CV. In addition to the clear content structure, you should ensure a good CV layout . According to the 2020 Recruitment Analysis, Danish employers are almost as happy with graphically laid out CVs as with the classic CVs in Word – as long as there is a clear and manageable structure . Feel free to use a CV maker such as Jobseeker if you are unsure about the structure of your CV and would like a professional CV layout.
8. Be concise
Approx. a third of hiring managers miss that candidates limit themselves when it comes to CV length . Follow the good advice on CV length and try to make a CV of a maximum of 2 pages . If you are a senior, you do not need to state your work experience for more than the last 15 years. You can end your resume work experience section with a line summarizing that you have worked as X, Y and Z for the remaining 15-20 years. You can also write that your full CV can be forwarded on request . If you have had many small jobs , it is good advice to summarize them in one to two sentences to save space on the CV.
9. Use a proofreader
One in five recruiters in Denmark state proper grammar as one of the things they most often miss in CVs. The good advice here is of course that you get more eyes to look at your CV. It is always best to let your career consultant at the trade union, the A-kassen or the job center help you with the CV when it comes to its content. You can also ask your friends or colleagues for their opinion. But once you’ve received feedback and produced a CV you’re proud of, send it to a proofreader . Proofreaders do not correct the content of your CV, but they can correct grammatical errors, punctuation and make suggestions on how you can formulate yourself more effectively.
10. Use a professional resume image
A quarter of Danish employers indicate CV photos as the most often missing element on CVs. This suggests that employers expect photos on CVs , and that you should include one regardless of the position you are applying for. Your CV image should be professional and suitable for printing . The good advice here is that you provide a light background and a high contrast in your photo, so that your face is visible if the employer chooses to print your CV. Read more tips about CV photos and try to use them in your job search.
There are many CV rules and tips for CV writing, and the ten most important points are the following: All CV elements must be present in a CV. The CV should be targeted at the job posting. You should match your choice of words with what you find in the job advertisement, and personalize your text by describing your skills in contexts from your working life. Professional experience should be stated with results and examples of work tasks – they should not be general areas of responsibility, but specific tasks. A CV should take up a maximum of 2 pages and have a clear layout. You should get help with your CV first from a career consultant and then from aproofreader that checks your grammar and spelling mistakes. Last but not least, it is recommended to include a professional photo in your CV because employers expect to see it. If you want to be sure that you have all the details of your CV under control, check our CV checklist before you send your CV off.
Good luck with your CV!