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Precision on paper

06 February 2015

Sorry, Harald. A great CV is custom-made. It’s based on a specific vacancy, created for a specific company. The value of choosing the right content and form is lasting. Just like the CV on paper or the pdf-file sent in an e-mail. Simply because online tools don’t offer enough freedom of choice.

The CV on paper remais a recurring point of discussion. Recruiter Harald Agterhuis wrote that it’s a merely an echo from the past. That paper is useless, because LinkedIn introduced a Resume Builder. He never mentioned the lack of freedom in making your own CV with these tools. At NEXT, we’re confronted with the importance of making choices about the content and format of a CV on a daily basis. It’s only when you’re able to make these choices that a CV will truly fit the job description and the company.

Choosing the best content

Smart applicants write their CV based on a specific vacancy. The content of a CV should correspond with what is described in that vacancy. Choose to write only about experience and knowledge that’s relevant. Furthermore, you should try to take on the best perspective when describing experience and knowledge, such as a job or education. Example? When writing down information about a job, you could emphasize the organisational skills that were needed, or you could choose write more about the social skills that you had to possess. And when describing your education, you could mention certain courses that are particularly relevant in the job that you’re applying for.

Choosing the best format

Applicants that are invited do more than offering a CV with the right content. They manage to pick a fitting look and feel and choose the correct tone of voice. A CV is an important basis for the image that an employer creates. Grammar and spelling errors are, for a good reason, the most common cause when CV’s are put aside. Mistakes like that are not about having or lacking the skills to do the job, but about mental images.

Employers prefer someone who is motivated and precise. Someone that makes an effort. Secondly, they hope to hire someone with a personality that fits the company. That’s why smart applicants keep the tone of voice of the company in mind when writing a CV. For instance, they utilize informal writing when the company is quite informal. It’s a way to get on the same page. It’s a way of increasing your chances of getting an invitation.


Tools such as Resume Builder can be used to view different designs of your CV, but can’t compete with the traditional solutions. Online tools are far from flexible enough to create something that truly fits the situation. You won’t be able to create something custom-made with it. Which is a shame, as the creation of something custom-made is what often makes the difference. Your CV is more than a list of your skills and knowledge. As long as online tools don’t offer the freedom to create a personalized CV, than the CV on paper is something that will remain for a long time. That doesn’t mean that a great digital CV doesn’t exist. Multiple web developers have created a CV that functions as a web page. But, Harald, most of us don’t have the skills to do that. In that case, creating a traditional CV on paper is still a great solution.

Last modified:29 November 2019 3.28 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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