Whether you call it a CV, Curriculum Vitae or resume, it is an important document that can help you sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the job – as long as it is done right. Your CV is essentially a sales brochure, so when you are writing it, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of your intended reader. It should be short, to the point, and be able to capture and hold interest. A curriculum vitae can be written in any number of ways, as there is no universally acceptable format. However, there are important elements your CV must cover in order to stand out.
Personal details: –
include your full names, current home address, working phone number and email address to ensure that you can be easily contacted by interested employers. You can also add your age, nationality and marital status, but such information are generally optional.
Personal Statement: –
this is a short paragraph that creates interest in your reader and a willingness to find out more about you. Don’t try to cram too much in, choose your main skill and show how it related to the job you are applying for. Potential employers use this to determine whether you can meet their needs, so make it very convincing.
include your education in reverse chronological order. Provide brief details of any academic or professional qualifications, and the grades achieved. If the job you are applying for is your first since leaving school, also indicate above any work experience.
over the years, people pick up many tangible skills, both consciously and unconsciously. Add any IT package or computer programme you have used, and any foreign language skills you have acquired. Also, indicate whether you speak the languages at a basic, intermediate or advanced level. If you have project management or communication skills, you can also mention those, but be ready to provide examples to back them up when you are called for interviews as they are harder to substantiate.
Work Experience: –
when writing work experience on a CV, your most recent position should be listed first, and like education, should continue in reverse chronological order. Make use of bullet points to highlight the responsibilities and achievements in each role to make it easy for the reader to scan through. Remember to include the name of the company, location, websites and dates.
Hobbies and Interests: –
this section is optional, and mostly used to provide something more personal about you for a potential interviewer. However, if your hobbies are related to the job, like travelling for a journalist position, or wine tasting for a restaurant manager, then adding them to your CV is a safe bet.
your referees do not have to be listed on your CV. However, is essential to let them know that details can be provided on request. Choose references that you are confident will provide positive remarks about you, and that can be easy to reach by potential employers should the need arise.
Tips to Ensure Your CV Gets You in the Door
Recruiters receive a high volume of applications, and they will usually spend a maximum of 20 seconds to initially scan a CV. It is therefore important to make sure your resume makes a brilliant first impression. If you follow the guide outlined above, you can present your information in a concise and convincing manner. Also, the layout of your CV matters a lot. It should not be longer than two pages of A4 paper, and have enough ‘white space’ to ensure readers are not overwhelmed at first glance.
Read through your CV for any spelling or typographical errors. Such errors are one of the first things employers use to flush out weaker candidates. Whether the role you are applying for requires a high level of literacy or not, potential employers can interpret spelling errors as a lack of care. Plenty of simple mistakes and abbreviations that might usually get overlooked could put off your readers, before they even get a chance to see whether you have the right skills and qualifications they need.
After you have finished your CV, get someone to look over it before uploading it to the internet or submitting it in person. A friend or professional CV checker can immediately spot and correct mistakes that may hamper your application success, or help you with a better turn of phrase that could make a difference.