CV Writing Advice from ClarusApex
Your Curriculum Vitae is a self-marketing tool and is designed in order for you to make it to the next step in the employment process. All you have to do is expand on your skills, and communicate your worth at the interview and you will achieve success.
Consider why you want this job
Before you start to write your CV, carefully consider why you want this job. Be clear about what the employer is looking for and what you have to offer before you begin with your writing.
What would make someone the perfect candidate? What does the employer really want? What special abilities would this person have? What would set a truly exceptional candidate apart from a merely good one? Have this in mind when you list your work and education experiences.
Putting yourself in the shoes of the person doing the hiring is the first, and most important, step in writing a CV that markets you rather than describes your history.
A CV is not an essay
The CV is a tool with one specific purpose: to win you an interview. It should convince the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career.
It is a mistake to think of your resume as a history of your past, as a personal statement or as some sort of self expression. Sure, most of the content of any CV is focused on your job history. But write from the intention to create interest, to make the employer to call you.
A CV is a list of documents with brief and clear facts. It should only include what is important for the future employer to know; therefore it should not be longer than 2-3 pages.
The CV should be easy to read
Pay attention to the readability of the text, the information should be clear and listed in a consequent way. Frames and diagrams that are not necessary should not be included, this will only distract the reader from the information you want to present. The key thing is that, with a little extra effort on the layout and language, you can create a resume that makes you stand out as the best candidate for the job you are applying for.
Remember that there are also some differences in how to you write your CV, regarding which country you wish to apply to. Search the internet for the customers used in the country you are interested in, so your application do not fail just because of the layout of the CV.
The first impression is everything
Ten to 20 seconds is all the time you get to make the employer to read further. What this means is that the decision to interview a candidate is usually based on an overall first impression of the CV, a quick look that should impress the readers and convince them of your qualifications. By the time they have read the first few lines, you have either caught their interest, or your resume has failed.
That is why it is said that your resume is an advertisment. You hope it will have the same result: to get the reader to respond. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to avoid spelling mistakes and other errors. Make sure the information written in your CV is the information you really want your employer to know about you. This is the first contact you have with the company, and you want to make a good first impression.
Make sure the employer can get a hold of you
Let us say that the employer has got an interest in your CV, and want to contact you for an interview. The contact information should then be on top of the page, easily found for the person reading your CV.
Include full name, mailing address, phone number (both home and cell phone if you like) and e-mail.
This information and this information only, should be put in the header of the document so the contact information is shown on every paper. If the first paper gets lost, the employer can still reach you.
Start with a selling Objective
Ideally, your resume should be pointed towards presenting you as the perfect candidate for one specific job, just as good advertising is directed towards a very specific target audience.
This first sentence has some very important and powerful messages: “I want exactly the job you are offering. I am a superior candidate because I recognize the qualities that are most important to you, and I have them. I want to make a contribution to your company.”
Remember, your resume will only get a few seconds attention, at best! You have to generate interest right away, in the first sentence they lay their eyes on.
Your skills are your weapons
Then you start to make a list of the job experience you have. It is necessary that you keep this list short, only list the job experience that is relevant for the job if you have had many employers.
Start with the latest experience, which is the most important one, and then work backwards. Position, company name, location, years of employment and a brief description of the accomplishments should be included.
In this section, it is important that you highlight the knowledge and experience you have for this specific job. The main focus is in this section. When a prospective employer finishes reading your resume, you want them to immediately reach for the phone to invite you in to interview
Then list your education and academic achievements. Name of university/institute, location, years of attendance, degree and specialty should all be included. Do mention academic honors, it is good to show that you have been an excellent student.
In both these sections, your job is to communicate, assert and declare that you are the best possible candidate for the job and that you are hotter than all the other candidates applying for the same job.
Other skills than Work Experience and Education
You can make a list of several concise statements that focus the reader’s attention on the most important qualities, achievements and abilities you have to offer. Those qualities should be the most compelling demonstrations of why they should hire you instead of the other candidates.
It gives you a brief opportunity to show a few of your most outstanding qualities. It is your one and only chance to attract and hold their attention, to get across what is most important, and to keep the employer to keep reading. Let them know what results you produced, what happened as a result of your efforts, what you are especially gifted or experienced at doing.
Language and computer skills are very important, do not leave them out. List the languages and the computer programs you know and at which level you are at. For languages you can use basic, intermediate, fluent or native.
Check your CV for spelling mistakes
When you consider yourself done with your CV – read it through once again to check spelling and grammar mistakes, and other errors you may have done. After you have read it through, ask a friend to do it as well, it is difficult to find your own mistakes in a text.
The CV is just the start
Remember; the application starts with the CV, but it does hopefully not end with it. If you put an effort to your CV you hopefully get an interview, and then you will have the opportunity to further discuss your qualities.
In fact, it is best to only hint at some things in your CV. Leave the reader wanting more. That way, they have even more reason to reach for the phone and ask you to come to an interview.
Here an example of how to write your CV
Date of Birth:
Date – Present
Description of the company:
Begin the list with your last work. Use full name of the company, department, address. If company has narrow specialization- add description, but not more than one sentence
Skills & Knowledge:
You could use such phrases :
• directed, led, managed, supervised;
• achieved, delivered, drove, generated, grew,
increased, initiated, instituted and launched;
• cut, decreased, reduced, slashed;
accelerated, created, developed, established,
implemented, instituted, performed, pioneered,
planned, produced, re-engineered, restructured,
saved, run up and transformed etc.
Avoid such cliche: dynamic, people oriented,
Achievements / Responsibilities:
In description of your achievements write about your main results: percent of increase in sales, profits of your company, the number of new clients or other details of your project. Сhoose that information, which is important/ interesting for employer.
Date from – Date to:
Skills & Knowledge:
Achievements / Responsibilities:
Name of University
Basic | lower intermediate | intermediate | upper intermediate | Fluent | native
Microsoft office | Programming | AutoCad
Usually you can write “Available upon request”
Don’t forget to attach your photos!