New Year, New Job: 21 tips on crafting that perfect CV

New Year, New Job: 21 tips on crafting that perfect CV
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

January 24th 2014 at 12:08PM

Industry experts offer their advice on one of the most vital steps in finding that new job

A prospective employer's first impression of you is more often than not derived entirely from your CV.

We've all been compiling our Curriculum Vitae for years, since we first went for those weekend jobs that would put us through university or keep us afloat until we found the career we wanted. But while we only ever have to deal with the one, recruiters deal with thousands.

Every hot vacancy a studio posts means a mountain of very similar documents piling up on hiring managers' desks. How can you ensure that yours is the one that stands out? Our industry experts are here to help.

Got your own tips? Email James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk and we'll add them below.

Eamonn Mgherbi, Avatar Games
1. Use examples of CV formats available online as these will help you to include all the relevant information and details.

2. Remember to list dates of employment for each company.

3. Include your past positive achievements where you have added value to your business or have gone above and beyond the requirements of your role.

Nathan Adcock, OPM
4. Make sure it’s easy to read and no longer than two pages – hiring managers go through a lot of CVs.

5. Summarise your achievements at the top of your CV, list skills and provide a brief introduction of yourself.

6. Most recent experience needs to go first. Work that you did three years ago is out of date and sometimes irrelevant.

Stig Strand, Amiqus
7. Make sure you have multiple CV’s for different roles. Never use the same CV template for every role you apply to. Ensure you have seen the job description and shape your CV around this.

8. Never include your salary expectations or reasons that you are looking to leave your employer on your CV because these factors have significant potential to be misinterpreted without discussion. Save these aspects for the interview or let your agent handle this for you.

9. Be honest about your experience. Don’t exaggerate your achievements or softography: your next hiring manager could know the reality.

Lorna Evans, Reflections
10. Never put your picture in it!

11. Always include a telephone number

Pedro Barahona, Testronic
12. Write about all of the skills and experiences required for the role, not just the obvious. For example, if you’re applying for a position as a Danish Localisation QA Tester, make your Danish skills are the first thing recruiters will notice in your CV.

13. Never forget to list your IT skills.

14. Grammatical and spelling mistakes are unacceptable. Particularly in QA, which is all about detail; if you can’t get your CV right, you will not be considered for the job. Simple as that.

15. Show the desire that you want the job: mention video games, but don’t think that this will solely be enough. If everything else is equal, enthusiasm will make you stand out.

Darren McKie, University of Hull
16. Enter a link to your online portfolio after your personal details, so that the prospective employer can see what you can do.

17. Describe some hobbies or interests that are not games specific before you describe your passion for games, so that you present yourself as a rounded individual.

Clarissa Hackbarth, Goodgame Studios
18. Highlight any additional experiences that have added to your skills and knowledge while you are looking for a job, i.e. enrolling in an academic course, etc.

19. When listing tasks and accomplishments, include important key learnings and how they may contribute to the job you are applying for.

Christoph Hillermann, InnoGames
20. If you apply for a job in a foreign country, check out the norms for their application process. Find examples on the company's career page. The way a CV is created varies in different countries.

21. Don´t do copy and paste applications. A good hirer will see this and this looks very unprofessional, especially when there are even mistakes involved (wrong name of contact person, writing about another industry).