Making the best CV is difficult. It’s subjective – I might find it interesting, someone else may not, however making it better than it currently is, isn’t difficult – so rather than thinking of it as your life story, think of it as your advert!
CV’s should be interesting. It is your highlight reel. What are you great at?what have you accomplished? What were your significant moments in your life that makes you stand out?
A CV is YOUR advert to get an interview! Like all adverts, you wouldn’t want to be generic, you want to be eye-catching, interesting and hopefully someone that can appeal to the masses!
There are many ways of writing a CV, my way has worked well for clients, but it really depends on what it is you’re applying for.
There are loads of ways you can make a CV ‘Look’ but the general rule of thumb is:
- Personal Info
- Personal Statement
- Work History
- Skills (although this depends again on what you applying for)
- References – always ”available upon request”
- Sign off
There is no ‘1 rule fits all’ here. You cannot have 1 CV and go for different positions within a company, simply because different positions require different experiences, so you have to tailor your CV – dependant upon your job roll.
There should always be a personal statement at the beginning. This is a summary of what you are all about.
DON’T write ”I am great at working as part of a Team and working on my own…” or ”I am an enthusiastic worker who is very prompt”
Think ”what is the alternative?”
”I am great at working as part of a team and working on my own…” what’s the alternative? – You are NOT good as working part of a team or you are NOT good at working on your own. Which – let’s be honest – neither of these are attractive traits for a perspective employer.
”I am enthusiastic worker who is very prompt” – what’s the alternative? You aren’t enthusiastic or prompt?? Again – traits that a perspective employer would expect. It’s a bit – ”state the obvious”. So your personal statment needs to be about you – it needs to stand out, if your CV has any of the above in it – get rid!
CV’s are not legal documents, which is why some people exagerate the truth a litte… great but – DON’T LIE! If your employer goes as far as giving you an interview and asks you to expand on your experience (that you’ve lied about) it probably isn’t going to end well!
Think of it this way…
Example 1: you would like to apply for a customer service job in a retail store. Your only experience is washing cars for a living. Do you have relevant experience that you can transfer to this new job role? OF COURSE YOU DO!
Whether you are a service or in retail, there is an end user. This end user (the person buying whatever it is you’re doing) is the customer! So, as a car washer, what have you done to ensure that your customer service was uno numero 1? …….AND THIS IS WHAT YOU WRITE ABOUT.
Example 2: You want to apply for a supervisor or managing role, you only have experience in washing cars, do you have the relevant experience? OF COURSE YOU DO! You have to manage time expectation, what chemicals you have (stock control), manage your work load, ensure that the customer is satisfied, did you come up with a new way of washing the cars to become more time efficient? – All of these are relevant to the role that you are applying for and this is what you need to include in your CV.
Hobbies and interests is my favourite part. Personally, you could be the most qualfied person i’ve ever met, but if you have no personality, then I don’t want to work with you! This section of the CV tells me what kind of person you are. Is the perspective interesting? Do they have a life outside of the work place that is more than just ‘socialising wth friends’? Have they achieved some cool stuff? This is the time to be adding those things, it’ll give me (the perspective employer) a chance to ask you more when the interview comes around. Be honest, don’t give too much info, but enough to want me to find out more! Additional note: – dependant upon what your hobbies are… maybe hold some information back!
|Talk about your achievements||Go into too much detail or waffle|
|Lock down your social media so only friends can see it||Have your social media so that anyone can see it. It will be looked at!|
|Have a Personal Statement||Say you ”work well as part of a |
team or on your own”.
|Explain your hobbies and interests||Include things like drinking or other explicit activities|
|Your work experience||An auto biography in real time|
|Keep to 2 pages||Less than 1 or more than 2|
|Use Computer to write up your CV||Handwrite|
|Use language which can be understood by most people||Use slang words or swear words|
|If you are good at something or have done something, give examples||Lie or be too generic|
|Need to know personal information, like name and contact details||specify your age, nationality, address|
|Include education and qualifications||Include dates of education – you might as well tell them your age!|
The sign off is again, not very common. You wouldn’t leave a conversation without saying goodbye!
Perhaps the sign off could be something like ‘Thank you for taking the time to read my CV, please feel free to contact me for feedback using any of the above contact details, Many Thanks…John Smith”