How to write a good CV - My experience
The Need for a Good CV
In the current world economic crisis, a certain number of things have come into greater demand. One such thing is a good Curriculum Vitae. I know from experience that any job i have applied for in the past two years has been met with inundated interest with hundreds of credible applicants for each advertised position. Until mid 2009 my own CV was a virtually unused document stored in the Miscellaneous folder on my Computer. I now have a folder dedicated to 'My CV'. It is my opinion that your CV should tell a story of your working life, and not just bulletin points of what you can do.
The Basics of a good CV
If you go into you CV templates in Microsoft Publisher or the Like, you will get a CV which will normally have the following headings.
Patents and Publications
Interests and Activities
Licenses and Certificates
Firstly this this list of heading needs to be simplified and shortened or the reader will be snoozing by the end of the first page. My own CV works with the following headings:
Date of Birth:
Licenses and Certificates:
This is a simpler format which makes the CV reader friendly. All the personal information down to the heading "languages" is on the first page, and the second page starts with your Work Experience.
Step by Step to completing your CV
It may seem simple, and really it is but there are a few small things you can do to make your CV stand out a bit more. Firstly, just use one column with a wide white margin to the left of the page and space each individual heading. for example:
Name: Joe Bloggs
This lets the reader review the information at a glance rather than having to focus, and you really don't what them to start focusing until they get to page two. I use the above format for all of the pages of my own CV.
Once you have this complete it is time for the difficult part, your experience. The first tip is to always start with you current or last Position and work backwards, for years my CV was the other way around. You are looking for the job now, so the employer needs to know firstly what you are doing now, not ten or twenty years ago when you were starting out on your career. What you write in the description of your current or last employment is the most crucial part of your CV. You now want the reader to be focused. Firstly, on my own CV i start page two as follows:
Work Experience: September 2005 - Present Day
'My Work Title' for 'Company Name'
In my current role as.....................
Depending on the position you are applying for always try to use the words Manager or Managing in the "my work Title'. For instance if you had your own business you would have been General Manager, or if you were a senior technician or Engineer this could be seen as 'Managing Engineer'. What you really want to do in your work experience is start to tell a story. Don't be afraid of writing too much about each position, as long as its relevant to the job you are applying for. My CV is 12 pages long and i cut and paste to suit the position i am applying for. Good points to bring across to the reader are, what you brought to your previous employer, how you solved problems, systems and procedures you implemented, relationships and communication with other employees and more importantly clients, how you and your career have progressed in the role, As i said above make it readable and tell a story. I have found that most employers are now looking more at life experience and what you have done and can do, and less at the qualifications you hold. But of course in saying that in the first instance, if there is a qualification requirement for the position you will have to have that.
It is difficult to write a good CV and i hope this hub is of some help to someone out there. I am of the opinion that your qualification is just a door opener and once your in your CV has to stand out from the rest. There are many many books and articles written about this subject but it is only the experience of the unemployed that can tell the true story.