How to Make My CV Professional? Help! -

How to Make My CV Professional? Help!

She walked in and asked, "Could you please check this CV?" She handed her CV to me. "How can you make it a professional one?"

I asked her how she came across the term "professional CV." Well, she had earlier sent her CV to a person who needed to submit it for a job. The design and content of the CV upset the recipient to the extent that he had to send it back to her and instructed her to make it look professional.

So, how did I help her? That's what is covered in this post. If you intend to make a professional CV, you'll need to read to the end of this post.

What's a Professional CV?

First, when a CV is referred to as being professional, what does that mean?

A professional CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a detailed snapshot of a candidate's career history and is used to apply for jobs, academic positions, grants, scholarships, or other professional opportunities.

Unlike a resume, which is typically concise and tailored to a specific job listing, a CV is more detailed and can be longer.

However, in many contexts outside of the United States, the terms CV and resume are used interchangeably, and the document is kept concise and tailored to the job at hand.

Still, there's nothing wrong in making either a CV or resume showcase professionalism. Even without much work experience, you can design your CV or resume in a way that will sell your potential professional abilities. And any CV or resume that does just that is best described as being "professional."

Making Your CV Professional

Creating a professional CV is crucial for making a strong first impression on potential employers. Here's a guide to crafting a CV that stands out:

  1. Choose the Right Format: There are several CV formats including chronological, functional, and combination. Choose the one that best highlights your strengths. A chronological format is most common and lists your work experience in reverse chronological order.
  2. Contact Information: Start with your name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable). Ensure your email is professional. I've emphasized this arrangement in my post, "3 Steps to Design a CV/Résumé in Microsoft Word (MS Apps)."
  3. Professional Summary: Write a brief statement that summarizes your professional background, key achievements, and what you aim to bring to a potential employer. Tailor this section to match the job you're applying for.
  4. Work Experience: List your work history in reverse chronological order, including job title, company name, location, and dates of employment. For each role, include a bulleted list of your responsibilities and achievements. Use action verbs and quantify results when possible.
  5. Education: Include your highest degree first, followed by others in reverse chronological order. Mention the name of the institutions, degrees obtained, and dates of attendance. If you're a recent graduate, you can include relevant coursework, honors, or extracurricular activities.
  6. Skills: Highlight skills relevant to the job you're applying for, including both hard skills (technical abilities) and soft skills (interpersonal qualities).
  7. Additional Sections: Depending on your background, you might include sections for certifications, publications, conferences, courses, volunteer work, or languages. Tailor these to the job description.
  8. Customize for the Job: Tailor your CV for each job application. Use keywords from the job description, and focus on experiences and skills that align with the job requirements.
  9. Keep it Concise: Aim for a maximum of two pages. Be concise and focus on your most relevant experiences and achievements.
  10. Proofread: Spelling or grammar mistakes can undermine your professionalism. Proofread your CV multiple times and consider having someone else review it as well.
  11. Design and Layout: Ensure your CV is easy to read with a clean, professional layout. Use clear headings, bullet points, and consistent font and spacing. Avoid excessive colors or graphics unless you're in a creative field.
  12. PDF Format: Save your CV in PDF format to preserve the layout and ensure it's readable on any device.

Poorly Designed Professional CV

Remember the lady in our discourse, she brought the CV below to be remade professionally.

Redesign CV After Professional Touches

After my professional touches below, is what we made of the poor CV above. You can also request my professional CV redesign service here


In assisting her, I focused on choosing the right format, ensuring clear and professional contact information, crafting a compelling professional summary, detailing work experience with quantifiable achievements, and organizing her educational background effectively. 

Skills, certifications, and other relevant sections were tailored to the job application, ensuring conciseness and attention to detail. 

The final touch involved proofreading for errors and formatting the CV for a clean, professional look, ultimately transforming her document into a professional CV that showcases her potential.

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Techie BEC Konsult 7:54 PM (0 minutes ago) to me