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10 CV Making Hacks that can make your points look better!

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

In a previous post, I shared the format of CV we use at IIM Ahmedabad for our placements. I also shared some basic guidelines to improve the look of your CV. However, a lot of people requested me to share how the CV points can be framed better. So, here's a post with some examples.


Now, let's talk about those 10 Uncommon Hacks to improve your CV points:

#1 Front Loading

Take your CV and fold it in half from the vertical axis. Now do the same from the horizontal axis. The area that is towards the top left is the area recruiters concentrate the most on while reviewing CVs:

This information can be used to prioritize what you keep forward. This will considerably improve the visibility of your points, especially the part you wish to highlight about that point. Here's an example:

#2 Quantification

The recruiters often don't know the magnitude of the events and competitions that candidates mention in their CVs. It is the responsibility of the candidate to highlight that. This is how:

#3 Consistency

All the points that include numbers, ranks and currencies in the CV should have a consistent format. This implied that if a million is represented using 'mn' in one of the points, then 'M' should not be used to denote a million anywhere in some other point in the CV. This also holds true for the way ranks are presented:

#4 Blank Spaces

There should be a fine balance of white spaces in the CV - in each point. If you add too much content, the point will become wordy and not attract the recruiter's eye. On the other hand, too much white space can signal a lack of skill-set to the recruiter. To avoid both the scenarios, find the right balance:

#5 Overflow

It is commonly observed that in some CV points, words overflow to the next line. It is always suggested to keep one point in one line. The reason is that overflow creates a lot of blank space and often worsens the readability:

#6 Action Verbs

While writing the tasks performed by the candidate, especially in the POR bucket, it is recommended to use strong action verbs that display qualities like leadership, ownership, etc. For example:

#7 Repetition of Verbs

Even though ranks and currency notations should be consistent, the same does not apply to verbs. A repetition of verbs snatches away the opportunity from the candidate to display the abilities he/she possesses. There should be a variety of action verbs in your CV:

#8 Local Lingo

As mentioned earlier, the recruiters are often not aware of the events and competitions, so writing in lingo, that only the candidate's college mates can make sense of, does not make sense. Instead, the candidate should describe what the event stands for. Here's an example:

#9 Higher Achievement

If a candidate has two achievements of the same kind such that one superimposes the other i.e. one ranks higher than the other, it is always suggested to write only the higher one. For example:

#10 Winner Effect

A lesser known technique used by candidates, who have won more than 2 competitions or events, is to take advantage of the winner effect. This implies to mention all the winning points together in the CV:


With this, we come to the end of this post. Hope you found the points useful.

You may also like to read - How to boost your CV to make it IIM-ready?

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