A CV has been a major part of job applications for a long time. Not every role requires a CV for an application, but these days it’s the standard for applying to professional jobs. One of the first people to list their qualifications for a potential employer is thought to be Leonardo da Vinci, but a lot has changed since the 15th century. Modern technology has had an impact on the CV and what it should include and what it should look like has evolved over the years. Creating a CV that will attract the attention of a recruiter or potential employer is something that you need to work on.

How CVs Have Changed

New technology has made creating a CV a different experience. For one thing, most people now send their CVs digitally, whether by email or by attaching it to an online application form. Some people don’t even bother with the traditional written CV anymore, instead producing everything from video CVs to online portfolios, which can be a good approach for creative jobs in particular. However, even standard CVs aren’t the same as they used to be.

What a CV looks like can depend on the country and culture. In some countries, it’s standard to include a photo of yourself or certain personal information. In the UK, personal details were once more common, but today it’s generally accepted that a CV sticks to your education and work experience. It’s generally accepted that today’s CVs should be limited to one or two pages at most, so keeping them to only the most relevant details is important.

Matching Your CV to Roles

While you might take a creative approach to your CV in the hope of getting a recruiter’s attention, the most important thing is that your CV matches the role you’re applying too. This is why simply having a single CV that you send to everyone, unchanged, doesn’t make much sense. Most job descriptions are clear about the experience, education and skills that they’re looking for. You’re the best judge of whether you have the requirements, but it can still be difficult to know if your CV matches up.

When you’re tailoring a CV for a role, consider how the recruiter is going to look at it. They’re going to want to see clear signs that you have what they’ve asked for, so it’s essential to make it clear. Try to use some of the same language used in the job description so that recruiters will be able to scan for relevant skills and experience.

Improving Your CV

When you have a CV, it’s important to keep it updated. Adding your latest role when it’s time to look for work again probably isn’t enough. If you’re struggling to get any interviews, the two key reasons are applying to the wrong roles and not having a CV that will get you noticed. You don’t have to do anything fancy, but you do need to get to the point and be clear about why you’re the right person for the job. A short statement at the top of your CV can be useful to give recruiters a summary of what they can expect from you.

If you need help with improving your CV, there are many people you can ask. You can speak to recruiters, mentors, colleagues and others to help you do more with just one or two pages.