Chances are, like me, you was in a job for years and when you first applied for your job there was no such thing as a CV!! CV’s have evolved over time and there are always the latest trends so I’m writing very much of the moment.
What is the point of a CV?
This is really key – the whole point of a CV is to get enough information in front of a recruiter that they want to know more information about you. And it’s got to be relevant information, information that tells the recruiter why you are the best candidate for their job. Just bear this in mind – it is not the opportunity to wax lyrical about your career. Keep it short and relevant.
The basics of a CV should include:
Profile – A short paragraph that highlights your Unique Selling Point and why they should hire you. This might be the only paragraph the recruiter reads so needs to be punchy and contain relevant information for the role you’re applying for.
Key skills – Don’t be tempted to include all the skills you possess… it should contain the skills you will bring to the role that the recruiter said they were looking for
Summary of career achievement – Write out your career history but also include activities you excelled in which should demonstrate your experience to do the job you’ve applied for. 10-15 years is plenty but if there is something a bit older but is most relevant to the application then do include it.
Hobbies and Interests – Include if it gives another side to your character particularly if the role you’re applying for includes skills you’ve developed for a hobby.
Qualifications – are optional if relevant for the role you are applying for or if you want to show how you’ve developed yourself.
I have developed a template to help you get started available on my Resources page.
Should I write a new CV for every job I apply for?
The answer you don’t want to hear is yes. It’s simple, to get the best information about you to your absolute dream job you will want to make sure it is specific and relevant and hits all the criteria the recruiters listed in their job specification. You can have a generic CV that you tweak for each job application but you need to check you’re not sending a negative message i.e. I’m sending a load of applications and I just want a job rather than I’ve taken an hour out of my life to make sure the recruiter is reading something that is relevant.
But I can’t write about myself…
This is a hard one, we do struggle to think of ourselves in glowing terms as we are often our harshest critic. If you have reports or appraisals on your work performance this might be a good place to start. Or you can ask your friends and family on what they think your key strengths might be. If that feels you with dread then do contact me and I can arrange a telephone interview where we can draw out your key skills and achievements together.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07790743223.