According to the statistics, on average, the HR department receives about 250 CVs for every corporate job opening:

  • Only 4 to 6 of these applicants will be called for an interview;
  • Only 1 of those candidates will be offered a job.

Yes, you need our ultimate guide on how to write a CV so that you can increase your chances to get a job in 2021.

What is a CV and its difference from a resume?

Before we start to elaborate on the CV, let’s define what it is and its difference from a resume. Curriculum vitae (CV) is a marketing pitch or an in-depth document that contains detailed information about your career and includes your skills, achievements, abilities. Often it’s under 3 pages of your professional history. Usually, in addition to the CV, you also need to create and send a cover letter and a completed application form. When a resume is a short overview of your career that can be under 1 page only.

8 Outstanding Tips for 2021 to Write a Winning CV

All the things become easier and faster thanks to free graphic design software with dozens of CV templates on offer. There you can choose the one that suits you best of all and customize it. However, you will still have only 6 seconds to grab the attention of hiring managers or recruiters and get a chance for an interview. Yes, this is enough time for HRs to learn the CV and move it into either the “no” or “maybe” pile. Below, we prepared 8 tips on how to create a standing-out CV.

The Best CV Format and Structure

The design and structure of the CV do matter. When it comes to the structure, It’s better to choose a chronological CV because it displays a timeline of your work experience, skills, education, etc. So, the CV’s key topics comprise (in the direct order):

  1. Job position title;
  2. Your contact information (email, phone number, link on LinkedIn account, etc.);
  3. Experience;
  4. Education;
  5. Skills;
  6. Languages;
  7. Certifications

All the topics are to be presented in a logical order and without empty talk. Besides that, the design also matters. The CV should be aesthetically pleasing. So, be consistent in your font types and sizes, tense, and so on. Use a PDF format for the CV – to be sure that the design and overall structure are saved whatever reader and device (desktop or mobile gadget) are used by the recruiter.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and a Targeted CV

Because of the big workload on the HR department, a lot of companies started to use ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to make the hiring process easier and faster. The software automatically shifts the CVs and filters them. So, most ATS programs follow the next algorithm of work:

  1. Automatically scan all the CVs by extracting text from the document.
  2. Separate text into the common categories: experience, education, skills, contact information.
  3. Compare the skills and keywords.
  4. Score the CVs on relevancy.

Only when the CVs passed all the stages, a hiring manager begin sifting through the applications.

The relevancy of the CV is what you should focus on. So, don’t create one generic CV and send it to as many different companies as possible, but write targeted CVs for each organization. Just edit your document in response to a specific job opening:

  • Add relevant keywords and phrases;
  • Mention skills you have that suit the position best of all;
  • Skip any qualifiers;
  • Add figures and facts.

Personal Details

It’s vital to highlight what kind of person you are and how hiring managers can reach you. So, make sure that your CV comprises the following information:

  • Your full name;
  • Job position title;
  • Phone number;
  • E-mail address;
  • A personal website (if it is required);
  • Your location (city plus country).

Work Experience

It’s an extremely important part of the CV that gets the most of recruiters’ attention. Herewith, you need to spend most of your time perfecting it. Here you need to list the companies you worked and what position you took there. It’s better to use the following format:t’s an extremely important part of the CV that gets the most of the recruiters’ attention. Herewith, you need to speтв most of your time perfecting it. Here you need to list the companies you worked for and what position you took there. It’s better to use the following format:

  • Job title you took;
  • Name of the company;
  • Employment dates;
  • Accomplishment statements.

Use figures and facts to reflect how good you were at the positions. It will help you to grab the attention of hiring managers and add value to your CV, increasing your chances for the interview.


In this part of the CV, you need to list all your education with the highest or the most recent degree placed first. Besides, every item of education should compromise:

  • Field of study;
  • Name of the university or other institution;
  • Graduation year;
  • Degree.

If you have some notable achievements or projects, then prioritize and list them as well. However, in case you have completed higher education, then avoid mentioning school, for example.

Targeted Skills

Here you need to mention 2 types of skills:

  1. Hard — [project manager, QA, developer, content-writer, editor, etc.
  2. Soft — time management, agility, leadership, communication skills, and so on.

It’s better to do research and mention the skills that are most relevant to the job position you want to get.

Additional CV Sections

You can also add such sections as:

  • If you know several languages then make sure to mention all of them. It can be crucial for some companies and positions.
  • Mention only the valuable and relevant certificates of the courses you have recently taken. It will show that you continuously learn and gain new skills to do your job even better.

Sending Out Your CV

It’s the final step on your way to creating a standing-out CV. All left to do is:

  • Proofread and check spelling;
  • Review your CV;
  • Write a cover letter;
  • Name your CV file descriptively like “John Doe – Senior Developer.pdf”.

What to Avoid?

Even if you completed all the previous steps but added the next information to your CV, you will spoil it and bring your efforts to naught. So, here is a list of things and information to avoid in your CV:

  • Don’t write objective and summary statementsbecause they bring no additional value to the recruiter;
  • Avoid adding the info that can lead to discrimination like date of your birthday, gender, marital status;
  • Don’t use unfamiliar formattingbecause it negatively affects the readability of the CV. So, it’s recommended to follow standard CV formatting;
  • It’s advised not to add the photo. However, it’s a point of contention. Everything depends on your location and the company. Anyway, in case you decide to add it, then pay attention to its style — it should comply with the organization’s values and culture.
  • Avoid adding too much information. Don’t write every job and position you have ever taken. It’s better to write the last jobs that add value to your CV.
  • Don’t create endless lists of duties and projects. It’s a bad idea to describe everything you’ve ever done or touch. Choose and highlight only 2-3 worthy projects, pick hits among courses, classes, etc. to add them to your CV.
  • Avoid writing in the first person. It’s better to use the third person to add the professional shade to the text.
  • Don’t add categories like hobbies, interests, etc.

Just remember that every piece of information on the CV should add value, help you to win the competition among other candidates. Besides, mind that you have only 6 seconds to do that.

Wrap Up

Now you know what you should include in your CV and what to avoid. However, you should bear in mind that a standing-out CV and cover letter is just a part of the work on your way to your dream job. As soon as you create a CV, following this guide, you’re to make it visible and start to:

  • Send it to recruiters;
  • Post it on the job boards;
  • Follow companies of interest to establish direct communication;
  • Find HRs via LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, Indeed, and other social media and write them, attaching your CV.