Will they read your CV?
Any error, however apparently trivial, can prevent your CV from making it to the short-list
You probably put a great deal of effort into writing your CV so that it gets all your greatest achievements in front of the selection panel. Of course that's important, but please don't forget the presentation and the accuracy of the writing. People who make short-lists have one objective - to make the list short. A spelling mistake or a grammatical error provides them with an excuse to put your CV in the bin regardless of how perfect you were for the position.
You must check these:
Use the spellchecker but do not rely on it. It doesn't know which is which of "principle" and "principal" and it won't notice if you write "form" when you meant "from" because they are both real words. After running the spellchecker, print your CV out, sit down in a quiet place with an old fashioned dictionary and look at every single word you wrote. If you are in any doubt about a word, look it up. It is boring, but really worth it.
Above all, triple check the name of the organisation you are applying to, and any individuals within it.
• Keep sentences to an average of a line and half, or about 20 words.*
• Use bullet points in short lists - seven or fewer in a group - and punctuate them how you like, but consistently.
• Do not use exclamation marks.
• If you use brackets or quotes, remember to close them.
Use them consistently. The word "company" doesn't need a capital letter unless you are referring to a company name as in "Parker and Company Ltd". However, there is plenty of uncertainty about how to use capitals so the most important thing is to decide what you are going to do and stick to it. Writing "Company" with a capital C is not a huge sin, but changing your mind from one line to the next makes it look as if you couldn't be bothered to check.
These will make your CV easy to read (and therefore popular):
Use short sections and sub-headings
No more than seven lines to a paragraph is a good rule of thumb. Rather than one big block of text headed "Experience", you could divide it up to help the reader. Do "2002-4" and "2004-6" help them, or would they find it more useful to see sections called: "customer facing", "administrative" and "project management"?
Keep to one typeface and not too many sizes.
Resist the urge to use underlining and different fonts for emphasis. A better approach is to leave out the less important points. Choose a simple font such as Arial that all printers and word processors can recognise. A good size is 11pt or 12pt.
* Word will calculate your average sentence length if you have the "show readability statistics" box ticked under the spelling and grammar options.