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Writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) 1/

Posted by | 7 January, 2015 | Career Advice

Tips on Writing a Job Winning CV / Resume

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree,
I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

On jobseekers can post a copy of their CV (curriculum vitae) on-line to allow easy access and quick reply. Employers and recruiters having an active account can, if you allow, read your CV and perhaps contact you. With that in mind everyone actively job seeker should have an updated CV ready at all times.

Ok, you’re thinking that makes sense but what makes CV stand out? A few days ago we posted an article on what to do and not to do when interviewing for a job. All well and good but if your CV doesn’t stand out or at least convey the correct message you won’t be having the interview.

By now you might be wondering why am I reading this? Fair question; we’re writing this not because we are experts or trained career professionals, but rather a small company that has received hundreds upon hundreds of CVs over the course of 17 years (and many more working for large corporations). And being small makes it imperative to find the right individual for a position. This is not about getting a job, but getting the best job possible.

The other reason we’re doing this is a bit self serving. When you register as a job seeker your dashboard will provide you with an interface to upload your CV. There are several fields to fill out. This post (and the ones that follow) will help you do this better, and will help the site by improving the consistency of the formatting making it easier and more efficient for employers to review CVs that are pertinent to their vacancy. And trust us the last thing any employer wants to do is sift through 30-40 CVs only to find just 2-3 individuals to interview. Win, win, win.

So let’s get started… The good news is that there is no one way to write a CV, meaning that there is a lot of leeway, everyone is unique and a CV should reflect that – up to a point. That doesn’t mean you can write whatever you want it just means what works for your friend may not work for you – especially if he/she is in web design and you work in hotels. Your CV needs to be appropriate to your situation and the job you are seeking.

That said you need to know what is the purpose of a CV – what a CV is and what a CV is not. First, let’s start with what a CV is NOT. A CV is not a chronological list of schools attended and past jobs. Yes, some of that info will be included but it is not the point of writing a CV. If your CV is written as just your personal school and job history it will quickly become boring and most likely forgettable.

So what is the purpose of a CV? A CV is a personal marketing tool. The purpose of a CV is to impress a company such that you 1. get an interview and 2. present yourself as desirable (higher pay). No interview, no job – it’s as simple as that. A good resume tells an employer what benefit they will receive by hiring you. Same as a toothpaste ad on TV, buy brand x get whiter teeth, buy brand y get fresher breath. Your CV needs to be well formatted and present you as a benefit and error free. Whilst most bilingual employers understand grammatical errors (heck, even we make them in English) there is no excuse for spelling errors or sloppy formatting.

As well a CV is also a way to communicate how you can be contacted. Over the years we’ve received more than a few resumes that don’t have a contact number – and an indication of a good time to call – or the contact is outdated or mentioned somewhere in the cover email. Circular file they go.

Finally just by writing a CV it can help you clarify your employment and career objectives. That is why you should take time before submitting your CV on-line.

With all that said, are you now ready to have a go at writing a CV that will get you noticed? If so, get ready we’ll cover that in part two. (To be continued…)

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