HOW TO prepare Your CURRICULUM VITAE
Dina Cvijetid, EPSA Education and Professional Affairs Coordinator 23rd February, 2011
IMPORTANCE OF HAVING WELL WRITTEN CURRICULUM VITAE
Your CV is your passport to an interview and therefore you need to display your unique abilities and suitability for the current job offer. It is the first opportunity to sell yourself to the employer and for this reason your CV is a selling tool or advertisement and not just a summary of your experience. As a selling document your CV must show the benefits of hiring you over other candidates and make it easy for the employer to see the specific advantages your personality and abilities will bring to an organisation. The best CV will ensure that you stand out from other applicants by showing what you can do for them and how to match what the employer is looking for.
Even though you may be the ideal candidate for a job, if you submit a CV which doesn’t deliver the right message, then you are squandering an opportunity and wasting your time applying for the job in the first place. Your CV needs to be ‘pitched’ at the right level, so that it not only tells the prospective employers what you have to offer, but does so in such a way that you can be sure that they will get the message. This means delivering a CV which is clear, concise and to the point and is easy to read and understand.
A 2004 UK survey by the Royal Mail postal service of HR departments in large organizations in the legal, retail, media and accounting sectors, identified CV pointers: * Incompletely or inaccurately addressed CVs and CV cover letters were rejected immediately by 83% of HR departments. * CVs and cover letters addressed to a named person were significantly favoured over those addressed to a generic job title by 55% of HR departments. * And, interestingly, over 60% of HR departments said that the inclusion of a photograph with the CV adversely affected their opinion of the applicant.
The most common mistake in CV writing is to include too much detail. Most CV’s are so packed with information that reading and understanding them becomes a mammoth task. Unfortunately employers simply don’t have the time to spare to wade through detailed information. To put it in perspective, you should remember that on average an employer will only allocate about 30 seconds to an initial appraisal of each application, and typically 200 responses are being received for each advertisement placed. ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ – never a truer word was spoken. If you submit a CV consisting of pages packed with long paragraphs of prose, the employer will be put off straight away and will quite possibly not read it at all. Otherwise they will only take the time to read some of it, which means it is left entirely to chance which bits get their attention. People are afraid of leaving things out of their CVs. However, by including too much detail they lose control of the situation. If you can bring yourself to go through your CV and prioritise the information, pruning it down to only that which is relevant, and taking out anything which is repetitive, then your CV will be read and you will get your message across. That is the only way that you can be sure what information your CV actually delivers. Firstly, it is important to know that even though your CV is your sales tool you should avoid the inclusion of false information. Never lie or over-exaggerate your skills, qualifications or experience. 3
With companies specialising in so-called background checks, employers can easily check if content of your CV is true.
Secondly, as a graduate you may or may not have experience in positions that are necessarily relevant to the role in question. You may however have other skills and strengths that may compensate for you lack of practical experience so ensure that your CV reflects these. In terms of formatting your CV to provide a professional look and feel follow the guidelines below;: - Use Times New Roman; - Keep your CV concise, no more than 3 A4 pages. Aside from this it is recommended never to leave unexplained gaps in your history. If you have spent a year travelling explain which skills you have gained from this and how this has contributed to your development.
To be logical – how could you possibly expect to get a good job by using a bad CV? Read about hints and tips to get your Curriculum Vitae (CV) noticed!
What is a CV? The term Curriculum Vitae means the story of your life, but don't let that fool you. Your CV should be a consise summary of your career and education to date, more a 3 page summary that a 10 page short story! Why is having a good CV important? Your CV is a very important document as it will probably be the first contact you have with your potential new employer. You want to make a good first impression so that the employer is
encouraged to offer you an interview. You don't want to put them off enough that they don't even consider calling you for a first interview. Employers will probably receive many CVs as a result of advertising a job vacancy, especially if the job opening is advertised in the press. With all these CVs to read, you need to ensure that yours stands out from the crowd. Curriculum vitae writing tips - introduction Keep your curriculum vitae simple. Your curriculum vitae must be concise. Your curriculum vitae must be easy to read. Your curriculum vitae must sell you. And your curriculum vitae must be tailored to what the reader is looking for. These CV and letter principles apply to all career moves. Having a good CV is essential for full-time jobs, part-time, internal, external, promotions, new jobs, career changes, internships and work experience placements - wherever an employer or decision-maker is short-listing or interviewing or selecting applicants. Short-listed and successful candidates are invariably the people who provide employers with the best CV. Your CV must sell you to a prospective employer, and compete against other applicants who are also trying to sell themselves. So the challenge in CV writing is to be more appealing and attractive than the rest. This means that your curriculum vitae must be presented professionally, clearly, and in a way that indicates you are an ideal candidate for the job, i.e., you possess the right skills, experience, behaviour, attitude, morality that the employer is seeking. The way you present your CV effectively demonstrates your ability to communicate, and particularly to explain a professional business proposition. Put yourself in the shoes of the employer: write down a description of the person they are looking for. You can now use this as a blue-print for your CV. The better the match the more likely you are to be called for an interview. If you find it difficult to match your own CV description to the requirements of the role, then perhaps the role isn't for you. There's little or no point distorting or falsifying yourself in order to get a job. If you falsify yourself in your CV you'll be unlikely to provide the necessary proof of your claims at interview, and even if you manage to do this and to get the job, then you'll not be able to do the job enjoyably without stress.
Writing CVs with no career history or work experience CV tips and examples still apply if you have little or no work experience. If you are aiming at a job which asks for experience, yet you have no experience in conventional employed work, look for other examples in your life which prove that you have the right attitude and potential, and even some very relevant transferable experience, despite it not being from employed work. 5
Consider and show achievements and qualities from your life, relevant to the job, such as: * leadership * teamwork * creativity * initiative * problem-solving * self-motication * discipline * reliability * persistence and determination * compassion and humanity * specific abilities with numbers, language, communications and ICT (information and comuunications techology - especially computing and websites), fixing and making things, selling and marketing something, etc.
in non-employed situations such as:
* school or college projects and responsibilities * part-time jobs * spor * voluntary work * clubs * caring * supervising, teaching, helping young people * charity work * hobbies and pastimes * outdoor activities * holidays and travel 6
CV file format
This is obviously important if uploading your CV to a website, or sending via email, or conveying your CV in digital/electronic format. Use a file format which is most accessible to most people. For example: Docx files are not accessible to everyone. (Docx files cannot be opened by old versions of MSWord). Doc files are therefore more accessible to most people than docx files. Pdf is arguably the most accessible and safest format. (Pdf files can generally be opened by everyone - using Adobe Acrobat Reader - and also the pdf format remains consistent when opened, unlike doc and other word processor files, which are often affected by fonts and settings on the recipient's computer.) Consider file format from the view of your target audience/reader and choose a format by which the recipient will be able to access your CV easily and reliably. As a general rule, the more complex/unusual your code/fonts in your CV, then the more it will make sense to use a pdf file format. In certain sectors (media, marketing, design, etc) pdf files will be recognised as a more appropriate presentation format, which inevitably reflects as a subtle advantage for anyone demonstrating that they've chosen to use the pdf format in presenting their CV. As ever - for the presentation of any important information to a specifically targeted reader - ask what file format they prefer. CV TEMPLATE Take a look in the word doc. CHECK YOUR CV
If you want your CV to be checked please send it on [email protected]