Imagine that you’re the person tasked with dredging through the slush pile of CVs (curricula vitae). How many seconds will you spend looking at each one? What will grab your attention?

Beyond the CV

A single sheet of paper highlighting your career history will only go so far at getting you the job. Meaningful connections and relationships must be formed for your CV to attract the most eyes. These days, the primary concern is networking; connecting with other business professionals grants you an “in” at companies or may lead you to further career opportunities. The to-be CEO of Ernst & Young, understands this. While he worked in the nation’s capital, Weinberger regularly conversed with members of Congress that brought him from his first government job to Chief of Staff of the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, according to the Washington Post.

With relentless determination and networking finesse, he ascended the political ladder. Your CV is important, but it’s only one tool in your arsenal to land the job.

Tailored for Position

If you’re sending out identical CVs to employers, no wonder nobody is calling you back. Before applying, research the company and position, and tailor your CV to match the culture of the company. You’ll want to apply the same technique to your cover letter, as well. You’re sending cover letters with your CV, aren’t you? Also, incorporate keywords pertaining to the job description. CVs are regularly scanned into digital databases, and search queries are enacted to target those specific keywords.


Listing accomplishments on your CV is a way to illuminate you from a slew of competitors. If you’ve earned prestigious awards, such as adding quirky accomplishments, as well. If these “accomplishments” are appropriate and will potentially pique employers’ interests, it’s worth a shot.

Avoid At All Costs

Don’t add flair by printing on coloured paper. Sure, your CV will stand out among the others, but not in a positive way. It’s such a blatant attempt at getting noticed that it will likely irk whoever’s eyes lay upon it.

Type in a standard font. There’s a multitude of fonts to choose from, and most will work just fine. Avoid ornate, pretentious fonts that prefer showiness to readability. At the same time, you’ll want to avoid overused fonts (e.g., Times New Roman). Moreover, ensure the type is large enough. Your name should be the most conspicuous and the first thing on the page. Don’t use headers and footers for important information.

CVs aren’t the place to opine and state your personal beliefs. Avoid stating your ethnicity, political affiliations and religion.