When it comes to applying for a job, a CV serves the important role of representing you before the employer. Getting it right is extremely important. Here are some tips from experts to guide you into writing the perfect CV.
YOUR GUIDE TO DEVELOPING A CV
Nowadays, CVs are exchanged over the internet. A firm will most likely want you to email your credentials to them or upload them to an online forum. Bottom line: you need to know how to create an effective electronic CV that can capture their attention.
Length:
CVs shouldn’t be more than 1 to 2 pages long. It is important to remember that no one has the time to read pages and pages of random information. If you think you have experience that may require you to take up more than 2 pages, then and only then should you consider exceeding the desired limit.
Style of Writing:
Try to use nouns more than action words. CV tracking softwares scan for information pertaining to skills, Expertise and credentials. So instead of using words like “managed”, try using “management”.
Be Original:
Copying someone’s work never gets anyone anywhere. Try to incorporate your own style into your CV. It gives an idea about who you are and what your personality is like.
Format:
There are two basic formats of composing a CV: chronological and functional. Read up on them before you start developing your CV. After all, you don’t want a haphazard piece of writing that no one wants to read.
Think of your electronic CV as a blank canvas that you can use to paint a picture about yourself. Use it as effectively as you can so that the person reading it understands who you are without having to meet you.
FORMATTING YOUR CV
There are 2 basic formats that all CVs follow. Here is a breakdown of how they should look like and their advantages and disadvantages.
  1. The Chronological CV
  2. It is the most widely used CV format. It is the easiest one to follow and is known to be the safest choice in the job market. If your goal is to present the most recent work experience and you have a steady work history, then this is the way to go.
    Advantages:
    • Since everything is in an ordered date form, all the achievements and employment history is recorded in a steady fashion.
    • It is known by most, if not all the interviewers.
    Disadvantages:
    • It may reveal gaps in your employment history.
    • Not very effective in highlighting skills and other accomplishments.
  3. The Functional CV
  4. This is a format followed by people who are looking to have some major career changes. It focuses on transferrable abilities and skills that you might have.
    Advantages:
    • Highlights skills and attributes that can apply across most industries.
    • Your strengths are presented in a way that is not limited to one particular industry.
    • Hides gaps in your employment history, if it is inconsistent.
    Disadvantages:
    • It may give the impression that there are things about your background you wish to hide.
    • Recruiters sometimes don’t accept this format.
    When writing your CV, understand the requirements of your organization weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both the formats and then decide which the optimal way to go is.
YOUR CV MUST HAVES
There are creating sections that are considered a requirement for every CV, irrespective of the format you decide to use. And even though the space may be limited, these elements need to be included in your CV in a comprehensive way.
  1. The objective:
  2. It gives an overview of where you are headed in your career and what you wish to accomplish with the job you are applying for. It should be short, relevant and project you as a focused individual.
  3. Summary:
  4. This is probably one of the most important parts of a CV. Often times the objective and summary are merged into one section. It describes what you’ve been doing and what your experiences are like. It is basically an introductory profile.
  5. Skills:
  6. You may list computer software and hardware knowledge, any languages that you know, basically anything that makes you stand out from the crowd.
  7. Certifications and trainings:
  8. If they are directly related to your job, these are one of the best ways to highlight yourself as a good candidate.
  9. Awards and recognitions:
  10. If you have received any awards, especially those related to your career, do mention them. You may want to make reference in your summary statement and then give details under this section.
  11. Education:
  12. Include all your formal education in this section. List your highest level of education first and then make your way backwards. Include any honors and awards you wish people to know about.
  13. Work history:
  14. This is the body of you CV. It is your selling point. This section will be organized according to your choice of format. Label this section properly so that the readers know where to look for it. Include prior credentials, projects you’ve worked on, clients you’ve dealt with etc.
  15. Contact Information:
  16. You must include how you can be contacted. There is no need to label this section but be sure to put it at the top of you CV. Include your name, postal address, phone number and email address.