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Main » 2011 » May » 13

Your CV is a vital tool in the job seeking process. It’s your first chance to impress a prospective employer, providing details that underline your suitability for the role. On average, recruiters take just eight seconds to decide whether or not to keep a CV, so you need to be on the ball.

Our top five tips will give your CV maximum impact:

1. Keep it concise
Recruiters are often faced with mountains of CVs and don’t have the time or patience to trawl through a rambling document. Remember that your CV is only the first step, a way of getting your foot in the door, so keep it punchy. Make it no more than two sides of A4 paper and save the real detail for your interview.

2. Tailor your CV
Take time to adapt your CV for each individual role you apply for. Research the company and use the job ad to gauge what it is looking for in an employee. Link your skills and experience to the requirements of the role. Similarly, if you are logging your CV with a job site database, look at the sort of jobs on the site and the employers who are advertising, and rework your CV accordingly.

3. Don’t leave gaps
Gaps invite the recruiter to guess what you were up to, so instead of allowing them to make their own assumptions give them the details. Even in time out of employment you can develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork or project management. You should update your CV regularly, regardless of whether you are actively jobseeking, to avoid having to recall distant points in your career.

4. Ensure it’s free of errors
One of the easiest ways for recruiters to weed out weaker CVs is to scan them for errors. If you fail to check your CV for basic spelling and grammatical mistakes, you are setting yourself up for a fall at the first hurdle. Most errors can be rooted out using your PC’s spell-checker, but you should also ask someone else to read your CV and ask that person for an opinion.

5. Tell the truth
It’s one thing to highlight the positives on your CV, but telling blatant lies is a bad idea. You are highly likely to be caught out and your application rejected. Many companies check the facts — such as qualifications — that candidates supply. And a good interviewer will soon spot any inconsistency in your story, even if it concerns your leisure activities. It would be hugely embarrassing to be caught out by an interviewer who’s an expert in your half-baked hobby.

Category: Curriculum Vitae Overview | Views: 689 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-05-13 | Comments (0)

It’s a question asked by many working adults: "How often do I need to update my CV?” Though there’s no perfect, cut-and-dry answer, there are some definite considerations to contemplate when deciding when it’s best to dust off your curriculum vitae?

Don’t Wait Until You Need a Job

You’ve been sacked or told your company is "downsizing” and your position will be eliminated. Your mood is terrible. Your self-esteem is low. And with this kind of attitude you’re expected to update your CV.

Even if you’re perfectly happy at your current position, do try to look at your CV every four to six months, just in case. Then, if you need to send it to prospective employers, it’ll be all ready to go.

Add to Your Document with Each New Award/Honour

Did you receive a special honour from an organization with whom you volunteer? Did you earn a promotion based on your abilities? Have you been given special responsibilities from your manager based on your past performance and acumen? Each time you are given this kind of award, make sure you add it to your CV.

Many people do not do this, assuming they’ll remember "when it’s needed.” Unfortunately, they usually forget, and what could be a marvellous addition to any CV is forgotten.

Annually Look over Your CV and Update the Format

What seemed apropos format-wise in 2003 might look antiquated today. Therefore, it’s prudent to look over your CV about once a year, just to see if the formatting seems "fresh”.

To help you determine if your CV is stuck in a rut, peruse the Internet for samples of CVs from fields similar to your own. You can even ask your friends to send you theirs for comparison purposes. That way, you can ensure that your CV remains "modern” and relevant to the current marketplace.

When you Complete Formal Training and/or Courses

Did your employer "force” you and your colleagues to take a course? If so, why not add the info to your CV? Even the most mundane conference can increase the value of your CV… and that way, the hours you gave getting certified will have been time well-spent.

Similarly, if you’ve taken training on your own, feel free to include the data in your document. Of course, one-day continuing education courses might not be pertinent, but longer classes are probably worth popping into your CV.

Update Your CV Whenever You Change Your Personal Info

Did you recently get a new mobile phone? Move to another flat or house? Change email addresses?

The sooner you note such items on your CV, the better. If you don’t, you may wind up sending out a CV with the wrong contact information. That could be potentially disastrous or leave a poor impression (if you send out the erroneous CV and have to resend an up-to-date version with apologies later.)

Make a Note of Anything Immediately After It Occurs

Were you asked to speak as an industry expert at a professional conference? Have you taught classes at a community college (or through an online school)? Did you write an article for the local paper? These are all ideal items to add to your CV.

If you don’t currently have a section in your CV where you can note these special events/ occurrences, why not add them under "training”, "work history”, "community involvement” or even "special skills”?

Category: Curriculum Vitae Overview | Views: 697 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-05-13 | Comments (0)

Curriculum Vitae Introduction

  • CV stands for curriculum vitae (Latin for ‘course of life’).
  • Your CV sells you to a possible employer.
  • It should interest the employer and secure you an interview.
  • A CV usually sums up your education and work history.
  • It also shows your skills, abilities and achievements.
  • Sometimes you can send a CV for a job vacancy.
  • You can use your CV to help you fill in an application form.
  • Your CV must always be up to date.
  • Make sure that your CV is well presented and check it before you send it off.

CV stands for curriculum vitae, which is Latin for ‘course of life. Your CV is a very important document because it sells you to a possible employer. A good CV should interest the employer, showing clearly and concisely why you are the right person for the job.

A CV usually contains a brief summary of your achievements in education, your skills, abilities, interests and work experience.

Sometimes, job advertisements ask you to send in your CV rather than completing an application form. You would also include your CV when sending in a speculative letter to an employer.

If a job advertisement asks younto fill in an application form, you can use the information on your CV to make sure that you include all your relevant qualifications, skills and experience.

Employers receive hundreds of CVs and only have a very short time to look at yours. You need to make every single word on your CV work in your favour. You also need to make sure that it’s well presented, easy to read and that the spelling and grammar is correct.

A CV is not a historical document that stays the same for ever once it’s written. You must keep it up to date by adding in new skills, achievements, experience and qualifications as you obtain them.

You can change the way your CV is presented, depending on the type of job you are applying for. For example, you can highlight your skills to show that they match the skills needed to do the job. Or, you can show that you have had experience of doing the same kind of tasks, or that you have the qualifications needed.

TIPS TO BUILD A GOOD CV

Introduction

  • A good CV sells you to an employer and gets you an interview.
  • Use positive statements about yourself.
  • Use a computer to produce your CV.
  • Use section headings to make information easy to find.
  • Choose information that presents you in the best way.
  • Change the order of the information to your advantage.
  • Make use of bullet points and keep sentences short.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Keep your CV up to date.
  • Try to keep your CV to two sides of A4 and print it on good quality paper (single-sided).

A good CV is one that gets you an interview! It has to be relevant to the job you’re applying for, or to the organization you’re sending it to.

A good CV should contain positive, selected information about your skills, qualifications and experience. It should make the person reading it be interested in finding out more about you.

Your CV needs to be well presented and easy to read; the reader should be able to find all the information they need without searching around the document. Using section headings should make this easier.

It should always be up to date and accurate. Don’t stretch the truth or put anything on your CV that you can’t back up with evidence.

You should use a computer to produce your CV. If you don’t have access to one, try your local library.

Use the past tense for previous experience, and try not to use ‘I’. For example, put ‘Supervised five people’ rather than ‘I supervised five people’.

Don’t use long sentences or paragraphs. Try to make use of bullet points to list things like skills and achievements where you can. Set out your information in columns, tables or neat rows. You could use Bold to make a few key points, but don’t underline headings or text.

You should always check what you have written, and then check it again. Check your spelling and grammar (use the spellchecker and a dictionary). Make use of IT, but don’t be a slave to it. Beware of American spellings and words that sound the same but are spelt differently.

When you have checked it, ask a friend or relative to check it. Try reading it out loud to make sure it all makes sense. Careless mistakes on your CV will usually result in rejection.

The person reading your CV will only spend a very short time looking at it. So, it should be as short as you can make it, without losing any important information. Don’t waste valuable space with unnecessary words (like putting Curriculum Vitae at the top – it’s obvious that it’s a CV!).

Make your CV sound professional; don’t go for the humorous approach.

Guidelines suggest that the ideal length is no more than two sheets of A4, or equivalent. This will depend on your experience and the job you’re applying for.

If you are emailing your CV to an employer, you could firstly email it to yourself to make sure that it is in the correct format when opened as an attachment.

Online recruitment agencies usually allow you to attach your CV to their registration page.

There are a number of important elements involved in creating the perfect CV. These elements can be summed up as the 4Cs. In short these are:

* Content: What to include.

* Clarity: Make it easy to read.

* Concise: Stick to the point.

* Correct: Check for errors.

It may be a good idea to write them on a scrap of paper so that you can see them in front of you while you work on your CV.

Content – What to write

Remember most CVs these days are ‘Ability Based’. For more details read our guide to the different types of CV, and in particular the "Functional CV”.

To summarize, the following things need to be included:

* Name

* Achievements

* Skills and Abilities

* Education

* Career Summary

* Other relevant information

* Contact details

Note: Unless specifically asked for, there is no need to include information about age, marital status, nationality etc. Employers are bound not to discriminate under Employment Legislation.

Clarity – How to write with clarity

Your CV needs to look clean and crisp and must be well presented and easy to read. For further information, read our article on "Your CV layout”, which specifies exactly how the above can be achieved.

Some of the information may seem obvious but is often overlooked, so it is worth stating. Small things can make the difference between success and failure.

Concise – How to write concisely

Perhaps that last sentence should be changed to ‘keep it short and simple.’ Say what you have to say as quickly and crisply as possible. Under ‘Achievements’ (see below), for example try and express each one in a single sentence, preferably on a single line.

Sentence Example: Set up a spreadsheet to capture stock management data.

By doing this you will be able to include more items without cluttering up the visual appearance. The more items you can include, the more you are selling yourself to a potential employer.

Correct – How to ensure it is correct

Always check for errors. In fact, better still, get someone else to check it for you. We all have a tendency, when proofreading our own work, to read what we meant to say rather than what we actually wrote. Don’t forget to use the spell checker programme on your PC. There is no need for any errors at all.

In addition to the 4Cs, you also need to remember the 2Ts –

1.     Tailor

2.     Truth.

Tailor: Develop your own bank of information to draw on for ‘Specific’ applications. Do not just have one ‘blanket’ CV for every application. Check the job description and person specification. Google the company and ‘get a feel for them’.

For speculative applications (where you are sending your details to a range of prospective employers) select the best from your bank relevant to the occupational sector concerned. For sending your CV to agencies etc assemble all your ‘big hitters’.

Truth: Do not falsify information. Misrepresenting qualifications, for example, can result in dismissal if unearthed.

Printing your CV

You might need to send a paper copy of your CV off in the post, or you might need paper copies to hand in at recruitment agencies, for example.

Don’t print your CV double-sided; print each sheet on a separate piece of paper. Research has shown that anything on the back might get missed.

Choose the best quality paper that you can, and don’t fold your CV if you can help it. White or cream paper with black type seems to be the preferred choice for employers.

Always print a fresh copy of your CV each time; don’t photocopy it. Otherwise, it will look as though you have just run off lots of standard CVs and not given any thought to this particular vacancy or employer.

It will not help you to put your finished CV in a folder, binder or any other presentation stationery – it will make it harder for the person reading it to keep it in the pile of other CVs. Just staple the two sheets together and put your covering letter on top.

Category: Curriculum Vitae Overview | Views: 686 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-05-13 | Comments (0)

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