We receive so many CVs here at Language Insight, what makes yours stand out? Elisa from recruitment gives you some info from the inside:

I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to CVs. I receive so many each day that it becomes quite a tough task to sift through the vast amount that hit my desk. If you want my full attention, then your CV needs to really stand out. Here are some tips based on my own experience:

Spelling mistakes, would you believe it, are one thing that I see frequently. Take my advice – if you are going to spend time writing a CV, finding a company to send it to, write the covering letter, send the email or buy a stamp and post it, then at least take some time to do a quick spell check. CVs with spelling mistakes go straight to the bottom of my pile (if they’re lucky enough to escape the bin) and may never see the light of day again!

This is not easy to do, but make sure your CV is simple and thorough. Write your name, address and contact details clearly at the top.

If you are applying for a job at a translation company such as ours, then it is crucial to state which languages you are proficient in. You wouldn’t believe the amount of CVs I read were I am left with no idea which languages the person actually speaks. Some people take it to the extreme and like to tell me that they are fluent in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Japanese, which I find very unlikely. Again, this is very off putting, as it is far better to label the languages with mother tongue, fluent and learning or conversational for the rest. If not, you risk being found out during the interview when someone assesses your language competency – this is not only embarrassing for you, but a huge waste of time for us. Honesty really is the best policy.

Make sure your most recent work experience, or current job position, is at the beginning of your CV, and mark clearly with relevant dates. It is also important to lay out the rest of your CV in chronological order.

Keep formatting and style, such as fonts and spacing, consistent. It looks much better if your headings are the same font size throughout your document – it doesn’t look professional if your CV starts in Arial 10 and ends in Times New Roman 14. It just looks untidy and shows a lack of attention to detail, a skill which is crucial for most of the vacancies we recruit for.

Never over exaggerate your hobbies or achievements. They will come back to haunt you at some point, and you risk further embarrassment either at the interview or if you actually get the job. For example, if you have stated that you are an Olympic hurdler, only to be found out that you get out of breath walking up the stairs to the office, you will not come across well with your new colleagues. Be concise, accurate and true to yourself and others.

Have you recently applied for a job at a translation company? What advice would you give fellow job hunters? Leave your tips in the comments below.

Image credit: aflcio