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Curriculum Vitae Resume Do's and Don'ts

What can you do to score points with your curriculum vitae? And above all: what better way to leave out if you want to leave a good impression? We list here a number of do's and don'ts for your cv resume.


Use a clear and robust font Use a font that's clearly legible and neat. With Comic Sans you'll generally not be taken seriously that quickly. Examples of fonts that you can use are:

- Arial
- Calibri
- Helvetica
- Verdana

Make an attractive profile
With your CV you naturally want to attract attention. One of the ways to do that's by stimulating the curiosity of the employer with a profile. Think of it as a film: a good trailer invites you to look further. Tell in a few short sentences who you're and what drives you. Make it specific; don't use empty terms, such as 'I'm a hard-working professional'.

Match your resume to the vacancy, in words and pictures
If you use keywords or terms from the vacancy, you'll sooner be considered as a suitable candidate. In addition, a rejection may take some time until there is a new suitable vacancy. In that case your CV ends up in a database and you're no longer top-of-mind. A recruiter can then find your resume later by searching on these characteristic terms. It can also be smart, for example, to include the colors of the organization where you're applying in your CV. This shows that you know who you're applying to.

State your core qualities
It's good to show your core qualities in your CV. As a result, your potential employer can clearly see what exactly you're good at and why you should be invited for an interview. If your qualities fit in well with what is required in the position, the recruiter knows who he or she should be with.

Explain in concrete terms what you have done in your previous work
Make as specific as possible what you were responsible for in your previous jobs. Active verb forms can help you with this. A few examples: was responsible for, supervised, analyzed, prepared, put together, assisted, etc.

State and explain facts, achievements and responsibilities
State and explain facts, achievements and responsibilities. In this way, those people who assess your application can see at what level you're acting and what you have achieved so far. If you have managed 250 people as a manager and were responsible for a budget of 100 million, it's of course a different story than if you had five people below you and managed a budget of 20,000 USD.

Use a nice template and bullet points
The use of a nice template makes your resume interesting, appealing, understandable and easy to understand. Don't overdo it and opt for a calm and uncluttered variant. Make sure you use bullet points in your resume; these make it more readable and clear. Make clearly distinguishable categories (work experience, training) so that the person viewing your CV sees the relevant components at a glance.

State high marks and / or (study) awards
The explicit mention of all your study results is just a bit too much of a good thing, but if you had an 8 or higher for your graduation thesis, then that's certainly worth mentioning. Even if you have earned your diploma with cum laude or have received other awards, you can safely state this. You show that you're a hard, intelligent and ambitious worker, that you deliver quality and that you can most likely quickly acquire the position.

Double check your resume
A sloppy and poorly written resume tells a lot about you as a person. And logically not in a positive sense. Check your resume several times and print it out. Have it checked by others and remove all ambiguities, imperfections, weird sentences or sentence constructions, small errors and carelessness. This prevents a small error in your CV from being the reason for a rejection.


Lies on your resume
"Although the lie is still so fast, the truth will figure it out". In other words: lying will always turn against you. You don't get along with a lie because sooner or later the truth will come out. And you put your reputation and job on the line. It's not without reason that honesty lasts the longest.

An error in your contact information, or forget to mention it
If you want to be invited for a job interview, it's of course as handy if your contact details are correct. An error in your telephone number can cost you dearly. Also check carefully that you have taken everything with you and put your data in a clear place in your CV, preferably at the top, so that they immediately catch the eye.

A 'funny' email address or 'funny' resume
A CV is a serious representation of your work experience, education, and competencies, which should inspire confidence on a professional level that you're the right person for a particular position. If you have been using the same email address since high school, your application is a good time to see if it's time to replace it. It goes without saying that you aren't taken seriously with such an email address. Do you want to show through your CV that you have a sense of humor? I'd rather not. The risk that your jokes are misinterpreted is too great.

Send your resume in a blank email
Always provide your mail with a cover letter. An application letter that you send in the attachment isn't sufficient. There is a chance that an empty mail with only attachments will end up directly in the digital trash bin. Always state in the subject line and the email yourself for which vacancy you're applying and write that your resume and cover letter can be found in the attachment.

A 'wrong' photo
If you decide to put a photo of yourself on your resume, choose a recent copy that appears representative to you. So leave that holiday photo in bikini or swimming trunks or that festival snapshot with sunglasses. Go for a more business-like photo, where your face is clearly visible and where the background isn't distracting.

Wrong texts
In your CV you describe who you're and what you can do. But you don't have to argue with it. People quickly drop out with long pieces of text or very detailed descriptions. So keep it concise, clear and uncluttered and use summaries to summarize your qualities and experience.

Irrelevant (private) information
It's best to indicate what you do or have done in your spare time if that adds something to the function you want to do, but doesn't go into too much detail about your private life. So don't mention, for example:

- length
- weight
- Age
- citizen service number
- Bank account number
- names of former executives
- religious and political preference
- Indication of the reason for departure with your previous or current work
Would you like to explain why you want to change jobs and leave your current employer? Not in your resume. The reason for your departure is a topic that will be discussed during the interview.

Provide salary details
What you now earn or want to earn isn't something you put on your resume. Discussing your current salary and salary requirements is only relevant at a later stage, when you start an employment conditions interview.

Friends as a reference
If you put a reference on your CV, this should be someone from a professional context. A friend or family member is therefore not included. Preferably choose a manager you have previously worked under, or someone from the HR department who has your assessment interview reports. In this way, the person who assesses your CV can check how you're as an employee and check whether there has been, for example, fraud or labor conflict.

No prior contact with your sponsor
A former manager or HR employee is best prepared to act as a sponsor for you when you apply. But always contact this person in advance. It's a bit annoying if your sponsor is called without being informed in advance. You don't have to include contact details in your CV immediately; you can state that these are available on request.

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