CV recommendations

« The first impression is always the most important one. Especially when it isn’t good. » Henri Jeanson (French writer, scriptwriter and journalist)

Once you realise that a recruiter spends between 20 and 40 seconds when first reading your CV, you won’t leave this first impression to chance. Recommendations for the perfect CV are all over the internet and we won’t pretend we have all the answers, but here are some guidelines, based on the (sometimes very funny) hundreds of CVs we receive on a monthly basis:

- Create your CV with a word processor and convert it to PDF
- Choose a legible font
- Use a professional photo (smile recommended!)
- Use a white background on your page
- Prioritize understatements
- Proof read and get someone to read your CV to avoid typos and spelling errors
- Use tools such as Powerpoint or design software which will make your CV unusable by ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), which are used by agencies and major companies
- Use more than 2 different fonts
- Cut your picture out of a group photo during your cousin’s wedding (or anyone else’s for that matter ;-))
- Choose a dark or brightly colored background
- Use too many photos, logos or icons
- Share your mobile number and e-mail address
- Use 2 pages if your experience demands it (for an unsolicited application, use a single page format)
- Display your most recent experience first and the other ones in reverse chronological order
- Be precise in the dates for your experiences (month & year of start & end of each experience)
- Detail your last 2 or 3 experiences with measurables achievements or data
- Make sure that the keywords pertaining to the job you apply for appear in your CV in a relevant manner
- Use an email address based on a pseudonym such as
- Show your experience in chronological order
- Copy and paste your job description
- Cheat on your employment dates (make sure they match with those on LinkedIn for example)
- Avoid clichés and catch phrases (“dynamic, win-win, think outside the box”)
- Mention your early career internships if you have more than 10 years of experience!
- Use the same CV over and over without tailoring it to your target