There is so much information available on how to produce a Curriculum Vitae (CV), it can be difficult to know where to start, so I’ve simplified things into 3 key areas:
Create an impression
Imagine you are the employer reading the CV, what are you looking for, what does this CV
tell you about the person applying for the job, what are they like, do they have what you are looking for? Use this technique to critique your own CV and help you to identify the areas that need enhancing.
Make sure your name is clear at the top, with easy to find contact details, then have a strong summary paragraph which gives the reader a good feel for who you are and whether you are the kind of person they want to hear more from. Take care what you include in the personal details and interests section at the end; think about the impression you are creating.
It is usually more important to demonstrate your skills and achievements than your exam results, so prioritise these on the first page of your CV and leave education and training to the second page. Keep the content relevant to the job you are applying for; match the skills and achievements to the requirements in the advert, this makes it easier for the reader to see you are a good fit for the job.
Bullet points and quantities also help to get important information over clearly, e.g. I managed a team of 10 people; I controlled a budget of £100k; I had responsibility for banking daily takings of £5k cash; my project delivered benefits of £350k; I handled 35 customer calls per day.
The kind of language used in a CV is just as important as in an interview situation. Are you a manager or a leader? Are you a supporter or an achiever? Are you a team player or do you just work in a group? Choose language in your CV to create the best impression.
Words like efficient, effective, capable and organised are appropriate for an admin or office type role. Whereas, words such as created, designed, influenced and directed show much more of a personal contribution. Project type roles call for words like achieved, accomplished, resolved, delivered and facilitated. For a managerial role, words like led, coached, mentored, motivated and liaised are more powerful than just managed.
Your CV is a representation of you; it is your first and best chance to get in front of a future employer so make it count.
I’d like to help, so if you’d like a free CV review, email your CV to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck with that job!