Blog 54: Tips for writing CV – part 1 by Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA

My previous blog about exam tips was quite well-received. I think that while you enjoy learning about soft skills and theory, sometimes practical advice might come in handy as well. So I’ll dedicate today’s blog on how to write CVs [履歷]. There are so many things to talk about that I’ll just focus on a the most basic (but very important!) points here, and will give more tips in future blogs.

One of the biggest tips that I can give you is to make sure that the layout [排列] of your CV is neat and clean. What do I mean by this? For example, if you’re listing out all your employment experience [工作經驗], make sure its clear to the reader which companies you’ve worked for and in what role (perhaps by bolding [粗體] or italicising [斜體]). Definitely keep the formatting consistent – if you’ve decided to bold company names, then do that for all your listed companies. Make sure the indentations [空格], fonts [字體], font sizes [字體大小] and spacings [字嘅距離] all consistent as well. I remember back when I was look for a graduate job, it was very common to try and squeeze everything onto 1 page. While this may still be true for some industries, I decided that it was much better have a 2-page CV so that the reader won’t be squinting their eyes trying to read the words.

Another tip is to really check your spelling. Although most of us draft our CVs on a Microsoft product which includes spellcheck, I have seen many CVs where people just ignore the red squiggly line below a typo [錯字]. A more understandable (but not forgivable!) mistake is when you misspell a word but it ends up being another legitimate word (such as spelling there instead of their). Also watch out for FULL CAPS – Microsoft does not identify typos for these words.

In some ways, a CV is like a piece of art. The reader is human after all, so try to give them something nice to look at and you’ll improve your chances of getting an interview or a job!

Qualified fellow actuary (in UK and Hong Kong), Financial Risk Manager, and MBA graduate (listed on the Dean's List) with a passion for insurance, data science, and analytics. Experienced in a broad range of insurance roles (pricing, capital modelling, reserving, ERM), along with a touch of knowledge in banking. Member of the General Insurance Committee (2021), Actuarial Innovation Committee (2019 - 2021) in ASHK.

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