Your CV is the only thing that the employer has in hand that will give him an impression about you. Hence, everything in a CV - the paper, the presentation, the language, and the overall looks - describes you.
The paper you use for the CV should be of a decent quality; while you should not really count your pennies when you purchase the paper, you should not go overboard either.
Use only blue or black ink for printing your CV; never use red to highlight and though there are no rules against using other colors, it does not leave a good impression if the CV is sent in green, violet or any other fancy color; for highlighting, use bold face. However, if you are applying for a copy writer job, or a TV advertising job or anything creative, the more artistic you do your CV, the better, because it will showcase your talent along with your qualifications.
The cover letter should match the CV paper and letters typeset.
Do not use typeset smaller than 11 pts because it makes it difficult to read; use Arial or Times New Roman as the font. Do not use handwriting or any artistic fonts for the CV.
The standard margins for the CV should be 1inch in on all sides; in case you need to, may reduce the side margins to maximum 0.5; ensure that the typed matter is in the centre of the page.
Check for typographical errors manually, as many times automatic spell checks create major howlers; if you want to use a new word use a dictionary, but avoid as much as possible to use words that you are not sure about; you may not get the right connotation and the reader will know that you are not familiar with the word.
What the CV should include depends very much upon what the job entails. The following are some of the must-include contents:
- Start with a two-three sentence overview (your skills, your exceptional qualities, future plans and hopes) which will tempt the employer read on
- Educational qualifications
- Additional training (technical training or soft skills)
- Work experience (in reverse chronology, with the last job you had, mentioned first)
- Additional responsibilities (outside your designation and/or job description - if pertaining to the job applied)
- Job specific skills which you possess (only if pertaining to the job)
- Personal details (name, address, phone numbers, email id etc)
- Interests (be brief here, unless it is something that will enhance the skills required by the job)
- References are most of the times a guarantee you offer that what you say stands true; provide two (and inform the people you name as references about it) or inform them that you will provide their name if asked
If you need any further help with your CV then drop me an e-mail.