In my blog The Art of Job Hunting Part 1 I spoke about entering the job market and establishing what position you’re most suited for and the ones that match your skills. I trust that you’ve established the job you want and you have listed all your positive attributes you want to add to your CV.
Now it’s time to get to typing the perfect CV but before you do it is important to remember that your CV is your first interview and your foot into a prospective employers door. This is where you want to spark interest and not be tossed in the bin or deleted from an inbox. It’s good to know that there is no right or wrong way to write a CV. At the same time it’s worth knowing that there is a difference between a good and a great CV. The aim is to land you that job but in order to do so it is good to follow some guidelines from experts.
Before you call in a favour for someone else to do it, let me be the first to tell you how bad an idea that is. Familiarize yourself with the content as you will be asked the information at interviews. What better way to remember it than to put it on paper yourself. Also you should know that there are a few general rules in respect of presentation to follow.
It should bring out the relevant skills you have to offer for the job or career your applying for.
It should be informative and easy to read but not cramped. A two page CV is sufficient.
The content must be accurate.
Check. Double check and check again for any spelling and/or grammar mistakes
The font type you choose should be simple.
The contents of your CV should contain:
Qualifications (Education) & skills (viz. Computer literacy and soft skills like people management etc.)
Previous related work experience
Contact information – Make sure that you are contactable on the details you supply. Your email address should not border on unprofessionalism viz. *firstname.lastname@example.org, *email@example.com
References – Normally two referees are sufficient: one academic (perhaps your tutor or a project supervisor) and one from an employer.
For format templates you may check out sites like http://www.totaljobs.com/careers-advice/cvs-and-applications/which-cv or http://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/blog/2014/january/free-cv-template
Good-to-know tip of the day:
It’s always good to have copies of your ID and certificates. What’s even better is having those documents certified. Some employers want certified copies while others don’t really care about that. Best you make lots of copies and certify it just in case. Also it would be a great idea to scan those documents and have electronic copies of it too so you may attach it to your CV should prospective employers request those to be submitted.
You’ll note that in some ads the advertisers request a recent picture of yourself. I wondered about this not too long ago and my suspicions were confirmed by a recruitment agent. Most of the companies requesting pics will do so for Frontline as well as PA positions. The candidate will be representing the company and be the face of the company.
I’ve got some mixed feelings about this in that I find it’s judging a book by its cover. On the other hand someone may have all the qualifications and be a bit of a slob and definitely not be the right person for the companies image. By sending your picture you also ensure that neither you nor the company wastes each others time (and money for that matter).
When you send pictures it may be tempting to send a selfie with an elegant pout or even a provocative pose. DON’T. I Keep it simple. A normal smiling picture will do. A picture tells a thousand words.
It is my hope that you can and have benefited from this article. In my next article I will talk about cover letters. I’ll share mine as well as give you links to a few websites.
In the meantime if you have anything to share, please do. There are too many great people who are unemployed and can benefit from your knowledge.
*Email addresses are made up. Let’s hope it doesn’t exist.