Q: I haven’t written a CV in 20 years – not since I left school. I understand that everything has changed since back them. For a start, I have 20 years of work underneath my belt now. Not to mention three children and less hair! Plus it is obvious that communications have undergone a revolution in the interim. Can you give me a few quick pointers for my CV? (EH, email)
A. You’re not wrong there – since last you wrote a CV, the world has changed dramatically. Information and communication technology have developed exponentially.
But the heart of the matter remains the same: your CV exists to help you get the job. It is a ‘personal brochure’ for you, extolling your benefits and features. Six pointers should help:
1. Get to the key information early. Tidy off your contact details into a line or two. You don’t even need to write Curriculum Vitae across the top. Use words sparingly so that you don’t obscure the important information.
2. Write a Personal Profile, or Career Objective, or Summary early in your CV. Here you should summarise your key attributes. Think about the employer’s needs as you write them, and seek to meet those needs.
3. Move from Personal Profile (or similar section) to another summary section entitled Key Achievements, Skills and Attributes.
4.Does the relevant work experience jump stronger out of your CV than the less relevant work? Make decisions that will allow the vital work experience to command pride of place. Not all past work is equal: decide on what work most attracts the employer.
5. Don’t ask the employer to read too much. Cut to the chase. Present your CV as a distillation of your life to date – and let ‘relevance to the employer’ be the ultimate determinant of how you distil all you have done thus far in your career and life.
6. Show enthusiasm. In your cover letter or CV, tell the employer that you would like to do the job, and that you feel you would do a good job for him. Let them feel your passion. This is something many job-seekers leave outside the door, so to speak, whereas most employers want to feel that enthusiasm and desire. Don’t over-cook it.
Is your CV ticking enough boxes? To obtain the free Sli Nua Careers CV checklist and our special CV how-to video, email firstname.lastname@example.org with CV Checklist in the subject line. Contact Sli Nua Careers for CVs, Interview Preparation and Mock Interviews – tel. 094 95 42965 / 091 528 883.