In search of the perfect CV

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Ifanyone should know the right ingredients for an eye-catching CV it ought to bean HR professional – so heaven help you if their yours isn’t top notch. SimonKent offers some tips on making that résumé stand out from the crowd. GivingHR professionals advice on how to create a winning CV calls to mind a phrase todo with encouraging elderly female relatives to do strange things with dairyproduce from chickens. The fact that many HR professionals have seen more CVsthan they have had hot dinners, however, means it is imperative that their ownCVs should be of the highest quality.Theimportant stuffTailoryour CV to each new job: As your career progresses, competition betweencandidates will increase and employers will be on the look-out for candidateswho best fit their organisation and position. Your CV needs to key into theorganisation and the position for which you are applying with greater accuracy.Neverlet your CV go over two pages: According to one source, 60 per cent of thefirst page of a CV registers on a first read and only 40 per cent of the secondpage. Such a diminishing return is bad news, but demonstrates that page threereally will not be worth writing. It is also unlikely that your prospectiveemployer will want to employ someone who cannot be concise.Keepit relevant: The CV is intended to get you to the next stage of application– the interview. It is not intended to give a full picture of yourself as aperson. At this stage the employer wants to identify individuals with theskills and aptitude for the job. Present the picture of a competent andprofessional applicant and don’t go overboard with unnecessary details.Payattention to structure: CVs contain a combination of the followingelements:– Contact details– Employment history– Training and development undertaken– Education and qualifications– Personal details– RefereesInthe vast majority of cases, following this order will enable you to tell a goodstory about yourself through your CV. As your career progresses the emphasisattached to each section will vary. Formal education and qualifications willbecome less important, first jobs will fade into the background rather thanillustrating your key skills. As this process occurs be sure to summarise partsof your CV in order to emphasise your most current and relevant experience.Don’tbury your talent: Make sure your best qualities and achievements are thereon page one, ready to grab attention. Don’t meander through your careerexpecting the reader to wait until the end for a reason to interview you. Letthis dictate the structure of your CV – determining whether your employmenthistory should come before your education and qualifications.Concentrateon your achievements: Focus on projects you initiated and those to whichyou made a significant contribution. Be clear and concise about the outcomes ofyour work. Stating your responsibilities does not show you are a good worker,simply that you had those responsibilities. Where possible, illustrate how yourwork has resulted in achievements beyond identified targets. Show how you havebrought value to the organisation which cannot be described through facts andfigures – ie, increased employee satisfaction, increased team work, decreasinghierarchical structures.Theobvious stuff (and so easy to overlook!)Behonest and factual: Don’t elaborate on your achievements or try to tellyour reader what to think through use of adjectives. Your reader is less likelyto think your record is “impressive” if you say it is.Checkand double check spelling and grammar: Use a dictionary if you have anydoubts. Spell checkers are not foolproof and will change your name if you’renot paying attention. Get your CV read by someone else before you send it off –they don’t need to know anything about the job you’re applying for, justprovide feedback on how you come across.Throughoutyour CV try to avoid the following:–Repeated use of “I” – or any other phrase, particularly whendescribing your achievements.–Jargon – HR jargon may be necessary to show you know your area, but don’toverdo it. For high-level appointments, your CV will be read by companydirectors and executives who may not be familiar with this vocabulary. Explainyour worth in business terms. Do not allow the way you communicate in yourcurrent job to pollute your CV. References to “colleagues” instead of”subordinates” may be inappropriate or confusing for someorganisations.–Humour – a quick gag wastes space and gives the impression you aren’t takingthe application or yourself seriously. Wait until interview to allow yourpersonality to show. It is also far easier to judge another person’s sense ofhumour in a face-to-face situation.–Gaps – while employers may not expect a continuous career progression throughthe HR ranks, they will question time periods which are left unaccounted for.Don’t be afraid to explain career breaks – better to do this than raise yourreader’s suspicions.Toomuch detail – You don’t need to list every single day’s training you havereceived or absolutely everything you did in a certain job. Keep it relevant,keep it focused. Similarly, don’t go overboard with personal interests. Toomuch extra-curricula activities may worry an employer as to how much workyou’re planning to do for them. The more information you give on your CV, themore material your prospective employer has to use against you at the interviewstage. Make sure they can only ask you what you want to be asked.Simon’stop tipsLessis more – be concise and interest your readerTailoryour CV – both according to the job you want and the stage in your career Don’tuse humour – save the quips for laterGeta second (third and even fourth) opinionPresentationis key use good quality paper, a single clear font (no smaller than size12), good sized margins and well laid out. Make sure these elements arecontinued in your covering letter. If you’re sending your CV in electronic formuse a text file (.txt), Word 95 file or earlier. Newer files may not bereadable by employers’ systems.Becomfortable with your CV. Is it who you are?Don’tsend a photo unless requested.Makesure it is clear how to contact you. If you don’t want them calling you atwork, give them an effective alternative.FurtherreadingPreparingyour own CV by Rebecca Corfield. Kogan PageThe perfect CV by Max Eggert. ArrowThe ultimate CV for managers and professionals. How to BooksSimonKent is a freelance journalist and has written a range of careers books for KoganPage including Odd jobs, Creating your career and Getting a topjob in the arts and media Comments are closed. In search of the perfect CVOn 26 Jun 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

"In search of the perfect CV"