Your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume is often the first impression you’ll make on a prospective employer, and it’s important to stand out from the crowd. In case you do not know, a CV is more or less a job-seeker marketing documents that provide key information about your skills, experiences, education and personal qualities that show you as the ideal candidate. Often, selectors read CVs outside working hours. They may have a pile of 50 CVs from which to select five interviewers. Its evening and they would rather be in the pub with friends. If your CV is hard work to read: unclear, badly laid out and containing irrelevant information, they will just move on to the next CV. That is why it is important for every job seeker to treat the selector like a child eating a meal. Chop your CV up into easily digestible morsels.
In order to arrive at a successful CV, these tips provide a range of styles-classical, professional, academic, plain, and fancy-which can be adapted to fit your personal preference. Sections for employment history, education, skills, experience, publications and interests can be arranged to best show off your fit for the role you’re applying for, whether you’re a graduate fresh out of university or an experienced professional looking to change career.
1. KEEP THE CHOICE OF WORDS IN THE FIRST PERSON
This is the first tip every job seeker must adopted. If one starts his CV in the first person, he should not suddenly start talking about himself in the third person. Job applications are all about selling yourself, so using I, me and my is standard practice. Do not refer to yourself as he, she or they (unless it’s a quote about you from someone else). If you do want to write I the third person, keep it consistent. Don’t flip between the two.
2. GET YOUR TENSES RIGHT
Most likely, this will mean talking about old jobs in the past tense and your current job in the present tense. Of course, there may be exceptions to this general rule, such as talking about a past event that occurred in your current job. The key however is to ensure it makes sense and avoid switching between tenses in the middle of a phrase. Muddling up your tenses is not only grammatically incorrect; it also makes writing confusing and hard to follow.
3. USE THE SINGULAR FOR INDIVIDUAL ORGANIZATIONS
It’s easy to write accidentally about a single company in the plural if you’re thinking about the people who work there. But if you are talking about one company, use the singular. If you are talking about one company, use the singular. If you work at the BBC, for instance, you are part of its team, not part of their team.
4. TAILOR YOUR CV TO EACH ROLE YOU APPLY FOR
We’ve all done it. Whizzed the same CV out to lots of employers to save time…Stop! Take the time to change your CV for each role that you apply for. Research the company and use the job advert to work out EXACTLY what skills you should point out to them. They will appreciate the obvious effort.
5. REVEAL THE TRUTH
Everyone lies on their CV, right? NO! Stop! Blatant lies on your CV can land you in a whole heap of trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. The last thing you want is to start work and then lose your new job for lying. You also may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly cant answer questions on what you claim to know. And that can be very awkward.
6. INCLUDE A PERSONAL STATEMENT
Don’t just assume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, use a short personal statement to explain why you are the best person for the job. This should be reflected in your cover letter as well.
7. GET THE BASICS RIGHT AND PRESENT IT CLEARLY
There is no right or wrong way to write a CV but there are some common sections you should cover. These include; personal and contact information; education and qualifications; work history and/or experience; relevant skills to the job in question; own interests, achievements or hobbies; and some references. Also, always present your CV on clean, crisp white paper. The layout should always be clean and well structured and CVs should never be crumpled or folded, so use an A4 envelope to post your applications.
8. KEEP YOUR CV UPDATED
Lastly, it’s crucial to review your CV on a regular basis and add any new skills or experience that’s missing. For example; if you’ve just done some volunteering or worked on a new project, make sure they’re on there-potential employers are always impressed with candidates who go the extra mile to boost their own skills and experience.