Professionall CV in 7 steps

By: Nikita Stegeman

As a job mediator, I receive several job applications every day. I am now trained to scan CVs quickly, but oh how nice it is when a CV is concrete and clear!

I would like to give you some tips to professionalise your CV and thus increase your chances of getting an invitation/phone call.

De 7 tips voor een professioneel cv

  • Make sure your CV is well-organised and clear. There is nothing more annoying than a recruiter/hr employee literally having to search for your e-mail address, place of residence or telephone number. Always start with your personal details. Do not forget to mention your driving licence, even if this is not asked for, it may increase your chances. Employers prefer employees who can move around easily and quickly.
  • The structure of your CV. Start with the information you can be brief and to the point: 'education' (also mention your minor, if any), 'languages', 'software programmes' and 'training & courses'. Also mention if and when you obtained your diploma/certificate.
  • Your work experience: Use a chronological order for both your 'education & courses' and your 'work experience'. The most recent is at the top. Write down your work experiences task by task. Be specific! So, for example, not just 'management' but:
  • Extra info. After the heading work experiences, you have space for the headings 'voluntary work', 'internships' and 'other work experiences'. Under 'other work experiences' you mention side jobs/student jobs, you do not write these down. (Unless you are applying for your first real job, of course!). It might also be interesting if you have coached a sports club or perhaps been active in a political party.
  • Do you have gaps on your CV or have you changed employers a lot? Then briefly and concisely state in your CV what caused this, as this could be one of the reasons your CV is pushed aside. After all, employers are looking for loyal employees. Have you been travelling for a while, for example? Be sure to put this on your CV!
  • Ideally, have someone read your CV and any cover letter or motivation letter. You can also use a tool like ChatGPT for inspiration, but make sure it is your personal story and do not copy everything. If the text does not match who you really are, it can work against you later in the process.
  • The finishing touch. ALWAYS save your CV in a PDF file. Sending a Word file looks unprofessional and can be modified by anyone. And have your CV checked for sentence structure and spelling errors by someone close to you! Of course, you can also add a photo in your CV for a personal touch. This is not a must!

LinkedIn summary

I would also advise you to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date: After all, chances are that people will take a look at this too. Write a nice summary so that visitors immediately know who you are and what your specialism is.