Ask Vicki: What should I keep in mind while making a CV?

In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi tells you how to make a CV that will get you noticed—and hired.

Ask Vicki: What should I keep in mind while making a CV?

Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to socialmedia@monster.com.

Vicki Salemi

Q. What should I keep in mind while making a CV?

A. While creating your CV, don’t get caught up in small stuff, like margins and resume fonts. Instead, ask yourself if an employer would be able to understand your qualifications without having to guess.

Have a job? Quantify the specifics of your job responsibilities, when possible. You manage a team? Great! How many people? Saved money in the budget? Terrific! How much? Get as granular as possible.

Also, you should tweak your resume every time you apply to a new job. It will only take a few minutes, but it could be your ticket to getting past the gatekeepers—or not.

How do you tailor your resume for each job? Start by taking a moment to peruse the job description. Find the keywords and use the same words in your resume and cover letter. (For example, if the description says “human capital management” instead of “human resources,” you should do the same.) This serves two purposes. First, recruiters have to review resumes quickly (I typically spent all of three seconds scanning each resume). When you use their keywords, it shows a recruiter that you’re on the same page as the company, you speak the same language.

Second, using keywords is particularly important because your resume will be entered into the company’s database for all other positions. All company recruiters perform keyword searches. So when you use their verbiage in your resume, it makes your resume more searchable, thereby increasing your chances of getting noticed and consequently, getting called for an interview. How cool is that?

Another pointer: Your resume should list your current job responsibilities in descending order, from most important to least. The order should mirror the duties that appear in the job description so it looks as if you’re telling the recruiter, “Hey, I can totally do this job because look at what I’ve already done!”

When employers review resumes, they’re reviewing it with question marks. Is this person qualified? Why should we bring them into the office over another candidate? If your CV has too many unanswered questions, you may immediately go into a slush pile without a second glance. 

Read Vicki Salemi's answer to "What should I keep in mind while making a CV?" on Quora.