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How to write a good CV?

Image of two persons preparing their CVs in front of their laptops

Creating a good CV is key to getting the job you’re looking to spice things up in your work life. This article will tell you everything you need to know about writing a superb CV.

A well-written CV significantly increases your chances of standing out from a plethora of potential candidates. The worst case scenario is that you are totally ignored by the HR people because of a subpar CV. You’re not even given a chance to introduce yourself in person in an interview. Remember, recruiters can see over a hundred CV’s a day. That’s why it’s important to really put effort into it. So, what should you do to make sure your CV is the one that stands out?

Barona is one the leading recruitment agencies in the Nordics. Our recruitment professionals wanted to give some tips.

A few tips for writing a good CV

Always keep your resume updated and send your most recent CV. If you send an old copy, it’s probably missing some crucial information. Also, you have probably improved in a lot of stuff, and your old CV doesn’t reflect that. It’s probably missing a lot of your new skills and competencies as well.

Before attaching your CV, ensure it has all the necessary info about your previous experience, your contact information, any certificates you have, your education, your skills, and your language skills. Also, make sure it is clear and comprehensible. If your CV is ambiguous, you may be mistakenly considered for a position you have no experience in or are not interested in. Long story short, make it clear and make it comprehensive.

What to include in a CV?

When you are talking about your professional experience, stay in a consistent format and in chronological order. This makes it easier for the reader to understand it. For every position you’ve worked in, list the same things: who you worked for, what you did do, and how long you worked there. A good CV has all this info listed in order from the most recent one to the oldest one.

Always include:

  • The company name and your job title
  • The period you worked for the company (for example: “from August 2017 to March 2023)
  • A brief description of your job and responsibilities, as a short paragraph or in bullet points

Include a list of your hobbies in the CV when they say something positive about you. What you do in your free time tells something about you. This might give the recruiter a better look at you and help them determine if you’re a good fit for the job. Don’t include anything that can ultimately backfire. If you’re into gambling, don’t put it in your CV.

Have multiple language versions of your CV ready. When you are applying for a job abroad or in an international company, it’s always great if you can attach a CV in English or the language of the country you’re applying in.

Nervous about an interview in Finland?

Learn how to prepare for it and how to impress a Finnish employer!

What to avoid in a solid CV?

So, now that you know what a CV should include, you’re ready to know about the stuff you should avoid. Here are a few pointers you should know about the stuff that shouldn’t happen:

It’s overly long or chaotic

Your CV shouldn’t be more than two pages long. Keeping the format clear is important. It should be structured and clear. Do not clutter it with text or try to fill it with pictures. Clean and simple gets you a long way.

There are gaps

If there’s an unexplained gap between your years of working or studying, it might raise some eyebrows. If you have taken some time out between your jobs or studies, explain that in your CV. Clearing it up in the CV takes you a long way. Unfortunately, some recruiters reject the applicants right away if they suspect that they have something to hide.

There’s an inappropriate photograph

Always ensure that the photo you attach makes you look like a professional. It’s great that you’ve spent time on the beach during your vacation, but you shouldn’t include pictures of it when you’re looking for a job. Ensure that the photo is suitable for work purposes. If you really want to impress and make a good first impression, get your photo taken by a professional photographer.

Your email address is inappropriate

Also, make sure that the email you use is professional. An email address with your first and last name is the best opinion. Using addresses like or might work for your personal use, but in this context, they may give a false impression of you. Keep it simple and keep it professional.

Grammatical errors and slang

A good CV should be spelled correctly, and it shouldn’t contain any grammatical errors or slang. If you’re not sure or you are writing in a language that you are not native in, ask for someone to read it before sending it. You can also use AI tools, and Google Translate to check for spelling errors.

Important to remember

Never embellish your skills. If you are going through a job selection process, recruiters or hiring managers will verify the essential information from your CV. Therefore, try to estimate your skills as accurately as possible. f.e your level of English or your ability to work with a certain program. If it turns out your real skills are weaker than what you’ve described, your chances of getting the job will decrease.

A cover letter is a different thing. As mentioned, a CV should have a clear structure. Avoid a stream of continuous text. The continuous form is typical of a cover letter, which can give the recruiter additional information. However, a cover letter can’t replace a well-written and clear CV.

Keep in mind that your CV and cover letter are the tools meant to get you to an interview and ultimately land a job!

Don’t know where to start or need help updating your CV? We have created a simple template for you!
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