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Most professionals will only ever think about their Curriculum Vitae (CV) when they are looking for a job. It’s important at that material time, although it needs to live and breathe between roles. This is to ensure it’s always up-to-date and reflects the best possible version of you at all times.
The term ‘curriculum vitae’ is Latin for ‘the story of your life’. So your CV, or resumé, should be a fundamental document in your professional arsenal. When applying for work, it can literally be the difference between your life going one way or another. It’s a story that stars you alone, so needs to be shown in the best possible light.
Why a Well Written CV is Important
When applying for a job, your CV is the first chance you have to make a good impression. It’s the thing that sets you apart in the minds of the recruiter. It is based purely on the words on the page they have in front of them.
The importance of a well-written CV can not be underestimated.
You are the best candidate for any job that you want. We are sure you believe that; if you don’t, you should start thinking that way. As the best person, your CV needs to reflect that. Your skills, your personality, your experience and everything you can bring to the table has to be written down. It should be in a way that transmits your personality to those reading it.
It’s going to be the difference between it landing on the ‘interview’ pile and ‘thanks-but-no-thanks’ pile.
What Makes a Good CV?
Before you begin to craft your well written resume, think about the format first. Your CV needs to stand out from the rest, even before anyone reads it. There are plenty of CV templates online that you can download freely.
You can then adapt to suit your needs. Think about what are the standout features of your CV that you want to catch the eye. Pick a few of those and make sure they are going to attract your prospective employer.
A well written resume also needs to be adaptive. Your CV should also change for each job you apply for. We are not talking about a wholesale rewrite every time.
But know you need different skills and experience for different jobs, so you should alter your CV slightly. This is so that you can bring to the fore, the specifics your managers are looking for each time you apply for a role.
Naturally, everyone is different so every CV is going to be different too, but there are some aspects of any resumé that you should include. Any good CV will need to include some personal details about you; your name, date of birth, gender, nationality and some basic contact details. Make sure your email address isn’t the one you’ve had since you were a teenager – super_hot_cool_dude@hotmail isn’t going to look great when you’re in your 30s, however true it might be.
Skills and Experience:
You will naturally need to include your qualifications, job history and expertise. Again, this section should be adaptive. Start with your most recent role and work backwards in time, detailing your skills, experience and responsibilities. Employers do take interest in your latest accomplishments. Also, make sure that you account for every timescale.
It’s an option for many, but you should consider adding a personal summary; think of it as a brief profile of you. It’s a great way of getting your personality across. See it as an alternative from the dry formality of listing qualifications and experiences.
When it all comes down to it, YOU are going to be the reason why you get the job, not your CV. It’s merely a means to an end.
Make sure you give yourself every chance to stay in the game. Create a CV that reflects you in the best light you can.
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