Building a CV
A Curriculum Vitae is a self-marketing tool that should present your knowledge, learning, skills and competencies in a positive, honest way. Your CV is your chance to show a prospective employer you possess the necessary adroitness and experience required; and that you are the ideal candidate for the vacancy in question.
Moreover, the way your CV is presented can have an overwhelming influence over whether your CV is even looked at by potential employers, let alone getting you that all important interview for your dream job. So it’s imperative you consider how good your CV actually is in order to make it stand out from all the others.
Here are some key points to consider in creating a successful CV;
- Include your personal details – name, address, phone number and email. Do not however include your age or a photograph unless specifically asked to do so.
- List employment history and academia qualifications with most recent achievements first.
- Ensure that the length of your CV is relative to your work experience: So you can justify a lengthy CV if you have many years of experience in a wide range of roles.
- Try to avoid using jargon or specialist terminology as best you can. Keep your writing clear, direct and focused. Remember that the person looking at your CV may not be an expert in your chosen field.
- Try to write your CV using as few words as possible – thus ensuring you’ll keep to the point and avoid waffling. There’s no need to go into depth in a CV, use a covering letter if you can.
- Make use of verbs such as ‘synthesised’ or ‘organised’. This makes you sound active and progressive rather than passive and robotic.
- Avoid the use of personal statements, YOUR CV is designed to present facts. Its role is twofold: to get you short-listed and to provide talking points for the interview. Keep your personal statements until the interview, where you will be able to use them most effectively.
- Don’t mention your social life unless your hobbies can demonstrate important or desirable expertise (such as list of skills mentioned in the; What do employers want section).
- Include the addresses of two referees; one should preferably be of your current employer, whereas the other could be of your lecturers/mentors etc.
- Do not forget to proofread your CV. Check for spelling, punctuation or grammar errors; unprofessional CVs are rejected.
- Once you have finished it, show it to as many people as possible. Their first impressions will help you improve your CV.
MJB ‘You’re Hired!’
MJB ‘You’re Fired’