Job Hunt

A Guide To Putting Together Your CV

Follow these CV tips from the Experts.

Writing your CV is critical in portraying the image you present to employers. The stronger the skill and experience descriptions are in your CV, the higher the chance of interviews and salary offers you will receive.

A CV is a selling document; it sells your qualifications, skills and achievements to a potential ’employer’, and informs them of your extra-curricular activities, employment history and hobbies/interests.

Initially, in order for your CV to receive more than a glance, for example, you can use borders, headings, print type and/or highlight/bold key words. If you get it right, there will be a better chance of you being selected for the next stage in your application – an interview.

Here’s our top tips for writing a successful CV:

First thing you should do is write down a working document, including all relevant information under headings.

Then write down everything you’ve gained personally from these experiences – skills, insights, personal growth (in paragraphs). At this stage just write as many pages as you need to get the brainstorming process done – only later on will we be concerned with cutting it down.

At this stage you will want to filter out the important. You can’t tell potential employers your entire history, but you can highlight the important details for them: these will include skills, insights and abilities that you have been able to develop, as well as your academic qualifications and what you gained from your studies and experience.

Keep it concise. Recruiters have lots to do, so don’t make the mistake of asking them to read through an unnecessarily long CV. A lengthy CV will put someone off whom is already short on time. Unnecessary details can take up a lot of valuable space on your CV, eliminate them.

CV’s should be no more then two pages, if possible, it’s usually necessary to describe relevant work experience. The two page CV is of no advantage if it’s full of information that isn’t reasonably applicable to the position you’re qualified or applying for.

Use the space only if you need it to fully disclose your accomplishments.

The most basic CV will need to include:

Personal info like:

Telephone Number
Date of Birth
Languages (level for both written and verbal)
Driving Licence (if you have one)

Career Objectives

What are your short and long term career aims and objectives? Do you have any preferences for the type of work you want to undertake? (Don’t be too restrictive. It is better to be general about your career aspirations at this stage, for example, Business Related, IT). Are you willing to relocate?

Employment History

All your employment is important whether it is part-time, temporary, voluntary, vacation work or Saturday only. It should be presented in chronological order, most recent first. Give dates, name of employer, job titles etc.

Education / Qualifications

Most recent first
Dates, Institution – Name of Degree Course etc
Degree Classification. It is not necessary to list all the modules you have studied.
Techincal qualifications

Achievements / Positions of Responsibility Hobbies / Interests

Use “power words” such as “developed,” “managed,” and “designed” to emphasise your accomplishments.

You’ll generate a better response from your curriculum vitae if it is well organised and is packed with relevant information to match and support your professional, academic or career objective.

Be honest. There is a huge difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified CV can be easily spotted by a recruiter or employer (if not immediately then certainly through the interview process), and if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the job, it will cost you the job later on.

Avoid the “Objective” statement–your objective should be clearly articulated in your cover letter. If you do include an objective, be specific. Vague statements, such as “Looking to utilise my marketing skills” or “seeking a rewarding position” add nothing to a CV and may in fact make you appear insincere.

Make your CV easy on the eyes. Use normal margins (1″ on the top and bottom, 1.25″ on the sides) and don’t cram your information onto the page. Allow for some room between the different sections. Avoid unusual or exotic font styles; use simple fonts with a professional look.

A big mistake that job seekers make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. As you compile statements for your CV, prioritise them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember that a strong statement, which uses power words and quantifies, will affect every statement under it.

Ask someone else to read through your CV carefully once you’re finished. When you have been working on your CV for hours, it can be difficult to spot the errors.

Finally, check your CV for proper grammar and correct spelling – evidence of good communication skills and attention to detail. Nothing will ruin your chances of getting a job faster than submitting a CV filled with (easily preventable) mistakes

Summary of do’s & don’ts

  • Do attach a list of potential referees and their contact details.
  • Do be positive.
  • Do highlight key words.
  • Do be honest.
  • Do keep your CV up to date.
  • Do check your spelling and grammar.
  • Do keep your CV concise.
  • Don’t attach references.
  • Don’t date your CV.
  • Don’t mention political affiliations.
  • Don’t use unnecessary words.
  • Don’t mention personal characteristics such as age, height, and marital status.
  • Don’t mention salaries earned or required.

Courtesy of: Bond Personnel

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